Late October, 2021
Island Consort as a performing entity is still on hiatus, but remains alive and well behind the scenes as a chamber music organization. I'd like to share a couple of project highlights by Island Consort members!
First of all, Consort Violinist Brian Kenney has spent part of the pandemic months chasing birds--or rather, birdsong! Says Brian,
"I have been a birdwatcher and listener for my entire adult life, and have always enjoyed the way that birdsong has found its way into lots of music, from ancient folk music to high classical and modern works of all types. Last year I started recording the songs and calls of birds that I encountered, and started doing rough notations of a few I found particularly interesting for one reason or another. From there, I would practice the part a bit, usually on violin but sometimes on piano or synthesizer, and if I liked it I recorded it. Filling out the recording with other parts generally happened in a semi-improvisational manner, trying out different textures or lines or sounds (and sometimes other birds!) or harmonies until some kind of approach seemed to work and connect with the primary song. Many of the tones found in birdsong do not have a clearly identifiable pitch, and though I do use some discretion in interpreting their 'notes', I do try and stay true to their rhythms for the most part, at least to the best of my ability. I approach this project in a light and playful manner for the most part, but part of what I am doing here is trying to explore the kinship I feel, and that I believe we all share, with birds and other animals and plants. I do know that every time I listen carefully, as a musician and as a person living on planet Earth, I learn something new and find inspiration to keep working with my own creativity."
Enjoy his new work here: briankenney.bandcamp.com
(Note that the artwork is ALSO Brian's!).
Meanwhile, Consort Director Sheila Weidendorf
has launched her personal music website.
You can view it here:
I always get wistful in August. To be sure, plenty of warm, sunny days still await us. Flowers are still in bloom and school is not yet back in session (at least for my daughter). I still have plans to linger at the shore and soak up the rays and the salt air and be at least a little bit languorous. And yet, the light HAS shifted. Night descends earlier and earlier. Many migratory birds have already flown off, leaving the trees a little more quiet, perhaps a little lonely. In any case, we have entered a transition zone for sure!
In these end-of-days of summer, my mind—my pre-pandemic mind, that is—would have been fully focussed on the concert season ahead. Concert venues, program content, musicians, posters—my days would be full of plans and designs and rehearsal schedules. But not this year. I AM, personally, busy with music—working on my improvisations, diving deep in the world of Brahms with my friend and colleague, Tekla Cunningham (there will be an album recorded this fall some time!), starting up rehearsals again with my trio, Trio Indigo—plenty of music to keep me occupied and out of trouble! But I do NOT yet have any plans to gather large groups of musicians for rehearsals or performances. Thus, Island Consort as a conduit/producr of chamber music is alive and well, while Island Consort as a performance entity remains on hiatus for the time being.
Do stay tuned here, or to our Facebook page for word of upcoming house concerts, recordings, etc.
Director, Island Consort
I am so pleased to announce an upcoming concert series and recording project between Whidbey Island Music Festival Director, Tekla Cunningham, and myself! We have been immersed in the violin-piano sonatas of Johannes Brahms for over a year, and will soon be performing them live through WIMF. We will also be doing a video concert to be available later in the summer through WIMF, and will be recording a CD of the sonatas as well. Enjoy this little video about our project!
Sheila Weidendorf, piano & Tekla Cunningham, violin
To stay abreast of Island Consort happenings, visit this website, or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IslandConsort/ or by emailing our Director, Sheila Weidendorf, at email@example.com to have your name added to our e-list.