Sights and Sounds #4

12:54 PM, 8/26/15

Three workers arrive at the Flynn Space.  Robert Hicks has is setting up his harpsichord, piece by piece. A stage technician boots up the system and the lights come on. The Flynn Space is, at first glimpse, an unusual place for chamber music, as it is not a chamber. The sound is rather dampened. It will be interesting to see how the musicians interact with the space. A few more workers arrive, carrying music stands and snacks for the green room.

Tonight, we will hear Telemann’s “Paris” Quartet in D Major, and Rameau’s Piéces de clavecin en concerts. The performers are Emi Ferguson on Flute, Soovin Kim on Violion, Peter Stumpf on Cello, and Kit Armstrong on Harpsichord. An interesting connection: Kit Armstrong, at the age of twelve, studied with David Ludwig at the University of Pennsylvania. Ludwig taught him composition because he recognized the immense young talent within Kit. David Ludwig has left for a music festival in New Mexico, however the two were able to exchange greetings when they ran into each other at the hotel. I’ve heard the same saying several times this week; “The music world is a small world.” 


1:26 PM, 8/26/15

The harpsichord owner, Robert Hicks, has started playing in the Flynn Space. My doubts about the space are no more. The finely tuned instrument carries its own weight throughout the space.  Harpsichords have no dynamic contrast, as each string is plucked at with the same force no matter how hard one hits the key. We will witness the musicians adapting to the static dynamic level of the harpsichord in order to optimize their sound based on their environment. That is part of the beauty of live music performance.


3:02 PM, 8/26/15

Robert is re-tuning the harpsichord, having let it adjust to the temperature at the Flynn Space. The audio engineers have arrived. The interns have had lunch. Jody has arrived. Soovin has arrived.


3:22 PM, 8/26/15

The musicians are running a rehearsal. Kit has a macbook pro on the music stand of the Harpsichord. Great contrast.


After a long rehearsal, final placements for the stage set are being decided. The harpsichord is movements must be made with the utmost caution. The audio engineers and the musicians decide on the best placement based on where the sound exits the instruments. They begin one last run-through of a piece.