Scratch That: In Sickness and In Health
Spektral Quartet violinist Aurelien Pederzoli opened up on the quartet’s blog yesterday about taking some time off for injury. Spektral is now the second Chicago quartet to go blog-public this year about a member’s performance injury. (The first, full disclosure, is Scratch’s own quartet; we’ve been without our founding violist since May of last year.) Both these musicians have shown tremendous honesty and vulnerability in their public writing—which, given the widespread ignorance and unfortunate prevalence of career-threatening injury, is a public service. Scratch wishes both of them speedy healing.
Unfortunately, the contemporary music program that Baroque Band was putting on—yes, you read that right—at the Museum of Contemporary Art has been cancelled due to “a sudden illness within the ensemble.” This cancellation only emphasizes the fact that while it’s possible to sub someone in last-minute on baroque rep, it’s less easy when you’re playing three brand new commissions. This was quite a big event for Baroque Band and Scratch hopes that recovery is swift and we’ll get a chance to hear the program soon.
If the above two items are any indication, Chicago musicians are feeling a bit beaten up by winter. The lengthening days are tempting us to think about spring, but we know it’s a long way off. There are a bunch of concerts this week to bundle up for and enjoy, including Mabel Kwan’s recital on Saturday; Maverick Ensemble on Sunday; and MusicNOW on Monday. Also on Monday is the Chicago Chamber Musicians—whose audience, according to young whippersnapper Allegra Montanari, is among the most blue-haired in the city—in a program featuring the music of Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Cheer up, everyone! Musicians, in Scratch’s opinion, count as artists. And we’re all officially invited to the Chicago Artists Resource Creative Expo on March 1 and 2. We’ve heard great things about the learning and networking that happens at the Expo, and we’re delighted that this arts service organization exists in our city. Workshop topics include board-building, fundraising, business plans, and copyright issues; keynote speakers include a leader in “design discourse,” a chef, and the President of Pitchfork magazine. If you’re more into cocktails than keynotes, you could just go to the Chicago Artists Resource’s “re-launch” party—which hints excitingly at a newly energized organization, in addition to the spiffed-up website—on February 27.
Also, lighten up! Now that Scratch is moonlighting as a folk musician, we’re spending more time in the world of Chicago’s non-classical music blogs. Did you know there are lots of them? And that some of them are quite fun? We’ve especially enjoyed reading Windy City Rock, Loud Loop Press, and Faronheit. It’s interesting to observe the differences between the rock music media and the classical music media. Perhaps the biggest difference is the sheer enthusiasm, the shameless fandom of the rock blogs, their identity as an engine of discovery rather than criticism.
(Next week, Scratch will take a week off from the regular column and delve into George Friedrich Haas’s In Vain, which Dal Niente performs February 28. But don’t forget, Chicagoans, that you can email Scratch That with concert tips, news, gossip, and jokes.