Spektral Quartet: Enigma: A 360° Experience
Saturday | November 05, 2022 | 9:00 pm$33.50
Recommended for all ages
“Enigma sits on the border between concert music and installation art; it marshals sounds in ways that have little to do with the conventional pathways of Western classical music.” — Washington Post
An enveloping sonic and visual journey created by acclaimed Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottír and video artist Sigurður Guðjónsson, Enigma takes place in the immersive night-sky environment of the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium at the Bell Museum. The mesmerizing ambient score conjures ancient imaginary landscapes, while mysterious images evoke otherworldly associations. Performed by Chicago’s Spektral Quartet, the piece teleports audiences to places sublime and unknown through a 360-degree constellation of sensory experiences.
In the words of the Spektral Quartet members: “We first discovered the music of Anna Thorvalsdottir by way of her debut album, with the help of some quality headphones – marveling at the horizon-less landscapes she conjured without the aid of electronics and finding ourselves simply dumbfounded at her sonic teleportation abilities. Listening to her music feels like encountering an ancient, slumbering colossus, and almost inevitably compels one to travel inward into that endless expanse within.”
The program also includes Eliza Brown’s String Quartet #1, Tomás Luis de Victoria’s O Magnum Mysterium, and Claude Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10, No III. Andantino, doucement expressif.
Multi-Grammy nominees, the Spektral Quartet actively pursues a vivid conversation between exhilarating works of the traditional repertoire and those written this decade, this year, or this week. Since its inception in 2010, Spektral is known for creating seamless connections across centuries, drawing in the listener with charismatic deliveries, interactive concert formats, an up-close atmosphere, and bold, inquisitive programming.
With a tour schedule including some of the country’s most notable concert venues such as the Kennedy Center, Miller Theater, Library of Congress, and NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, the quartet also takes great pride in its home city of Chicago: championing the work of local composers, bridging social and aesthetic partitions, and cultivating its ongoing collaborations and residencies in the Chicago region. The 21/22 Season will see the launch ENIGMA: a hypnotic collision of music and film for full-dome planetarium theaters featuring an original score by Anna Thorvaldsdottir and new video art by Sigurdur Gudjonsson – all performed live by Spektral.
Named “Chicagoans of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune in 2017, Spektral Quartet is most highly regarded for its creative and stylistic versatility: presenting seasons in which, for instance, a thematic program circling Beethoven seamlessly coexists with an improvised sonic meditation at sunrise, a talent show featuring Spektral fans, and the co-release of a jazz album traversing the folk traditions of Puerto Rico.