So many strings to their bow
This article is from 2010.
They’ve worked with David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails and Nelly Furtado, and had their music featured in movies such as Requiem for a Dream. The dance world adores them, leading to collaborations with Merce Cunningham; lest we forget the extraordinary band of composers in their little black book, the fruits of which we’ll hear at this year’s EIF. Suffice to say, Kronos are no ordinary string quartet.
For violinist David Harrington it’s all in a day’s work. ‘We’ve been doing this for 30 years,’ smiles Harrington. ‘We’ve invested time and love into what we do, and who we work with.’ Made up of two violinists, a viola player and cellist, they spend time selecting the pieces for each concert and never cease to be excited by mixing up genres and letting the composers’ stories speak for themselves. This month’s appearance will be no different as they bring three bold pieces to the stage: Steve Reich’s Different Trains, boasting a compositional method using speech recordings, . . hold me, neighbor, in this storm… inspired by folk and religious music from Aleksandra Vrebalov’s native Serbia, before finally rounding off with the fiercely electric Black Angels by George Crumb.
‘There’s a spirit of fearlessness to what we do, and a constant commitment to expanding the range of a string quartet,’ explains Harrington. ‘When people say we’ve surprised them with what we play, that’s exciting. It means we’ve achieved a relationship not just between them and us, but between them and the music.’
Usher Hall, 473 2000, Sat 21 Aug, 8pm, £8–£32.