Terrace Views

Music Professor Brings Life to Creatures

The JACK Quartet visits Shannon Hall from New York on Friday, May 8 at 8 p.m. to perform the world premiere of UW Professor Laura Elise Schwendinger’s Creature Quartet.

Schwendinger, who is the first composer to win the American Academy in Berlin Prize Fellowship, wrote the Creature Quartet, a one-movement piece for string quartet that is an ode to extinct, mythological and endangered creatures.

“The work is a personal response to imminent mass extinction,” Laura explained. “The various movements flow through the piece, providing a network of melody, harmony and biology.”

The quartet will be accompanied by a powerful animation by French artist, Pauline Gagniarre.

“The animation is a remarkable collection of all 12 animals that will guide the audience to follow and visualize the composition associated with it,” Laura said.

 The quartet features four prominent movements: birds, mythological, endangered and extinct creatures and 12  smaller movements inspired by creatures like the Yeti, Chupacabra and the Ivory Billed Woodpecker.

Laura first met the JACK Quartet in 2012 and has since embodied the quartet’s mission to introduce and perform modern music in her own work. Creature Quartet stemmed from discussions between Laura and the JACK Quartet in 2013 at New Music on the Point, a contemporary chamber music festival.

Laura told the Wisconsin Union Theater that she is excited to hear the JACK Quartet in Madison, since she lives and is a professor at UW Madison.

Also, on Thursday May 7 at 8:00 p.m. the JACK Quartet will perform “In the Dark,” String Quartet No. 3 by Georg Friedrich Haas in the Fredric March Play Circle. The piece is played in total darkness to eliminate the audience’s visual relationship to the performers, as the JACK Quartet is also positioned in the four corners of the room.

Join us at the JACK Quartet performance on May 7 and 8 at Memorial Union that is sure to blow your mind!

You can find tickets on the Wisconsin Union Theater website

Author: Gabrielle DiBenedetto

Gabrielle DiBenedetto is a UW-Madison junior double majoring in Journalism and Economics. She can be seen studying or chatting with friends in the Sun Garden at Union South with a bowl of Babcock ice cream.

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