Blueprinting is the debut album from the Aizuri Quartet, featuring five works born out of a close collaboration between the quartet and composers Lembit Beecher, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Caroline Shaw, Gabriella Smith, and Paul Wiancko.
Inspired by the unique “ensembles” of paintings, metal objects, furniture, and pottery at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Gabriella Smith describes Carrot Revolution as “a patchwork of my wildly contrasting influences and full of strange and unexpected juxtapositions and intersecting planes of sound, inspired by the way Barnes’ ensembles show old works in new contexts and draw connections between things we don’t think of as being related. ”
Here’s what Aizuri Quartet had to say about the work:
We deeply admire our friend Gabriella Smith for her bold voice and creativity, and for her adventurous and curious spirit. Gabriella Smith’s Carrot Revolution ushers the quartet through a collage of styles, playfully drawing grooves and flashes of melody out of a wide array of extended techniques. Written for us while we were in residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, and commissioned by Curtis on Tour and the Barnes Foundation, we have toured Carrot Revolution in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Austria and Germany, and have loved discovering that the piece resonates so powerfully with so many people.
Blueprinting is out on New Amsterdam Records on September 28th, but you can pre-order the album here.
About Aizuri Quartet
Praised by the Washington Post for “captivating” performances that draw from its notable “meld of intellect, technique and emotions,” the Aizuri Quartet was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, First Prize at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, and Third Prize at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. Through its engaging and thought-provoking programs, the Quartet has garnered critical acclaim for bringing “a technical bravado and emotional power” to bold new commissions, and for its “flawless” (San Diego Union-Tribune) performances of the great masterpieces of the past in which “every note is lovingly crafted and savored” (Washington Post).
Based in New York City, the Aizuri Quartet was the 2017-2018 MetLiveArts String Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, presenting five unique programs throughout the season, which the New York Times called “genuinely exciting” and “imaginative.” Previously the Quartet was the 2015-2016 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and from 2014-2016, the String Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Throughout its residency, the Quartet appeared internationally in Curtis on Tour performances in Bremen, Dresden, Paris and Salzburg, in Aspen, Logan, Napa, La Jolla and Davis with clarinetist Michael Rusinek, at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and New York City’s Morgan Library and Museum with cellist Peter Wiley, and throughout Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico with violist Roberto Díaz. Additionally, the Quartet was the resident ensemble of the 2014 Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute and was the recipient of the Salon de Virtuosi JCCI Career Grant.
About Gabriella Smith
Gabriella Smith is a composer from the San Francisco Bay Area whose music is described as “high-voltage and wildly imaginative” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “bold, original and suggests exciting new directions for American music” (Giancarlo Guerrero), and “You really get the Pacific Ocean, man!” (Cabrillo Festival audience member). Her music has been performed throughout the U.S. and internationally by eighth blackbird, Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, PRISM Quartet, Aizuri Quartet, and yMusic, among others. Upcoming season highlights include the world premiere of a new work for Roomful of Teeth and Dover Quartet at Bravo! Vail Music Festival, and performances of Tumblebird Contrails by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in January 2019, conducted by John Adams.