Weekly Update, Nov 26, 2013

Down from the Trinity Alps

You saw it here first

The Trinity Alps Chamber Players have chosen to leave their Northern California alpine aerie for a sea level visit, this coming Monday (7pm) at Monterey’s Wave Street Studios. Borne of the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival, each of the players comes with major musical credentials, which they will need for Olivier 2601602_origMessiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. The four members of the tour have established reputations in the San Francisco Bay Area, while pianist (and festival founder) Ian Scarfe and violinist Edwin Huizinga now also enjoy a local following, Scarfe for a recent appearance with the Santa Cruz Chamber Players and Huizinga as a familiar presence at the Carmel Bach Festival. Clarinetist Sacha Rattle, the son of Berlin Philharmonic music director Simon Rattle, offers a new sound to our area while cellist Charles Akert has gained accolades as a member of the Nexus String Quartet and who, in 2010, won the Grand Prize at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition.

Messiaen was a POW in a Nazi prison camp, in 1941, when he composed and premiered this mystical masterpiece. Its eight movements take inspiration from the St. John Gospel’s Book of Revelations; the unusual instrumentation and the composer’s unique style have attracted top musicians and audiences ever since.

Wave Street Studios, a one-half block stroll along the Monterey Bay Recreation Trail from the Cannery Row parking structure, is the choice for intimate music making (and audio/video recordings) with seating limited to 80, available at very modest ticket prices for this event. (See our Calendar page for details.) The Trinity Alps quartet will include movements from works by Brahms, Milhaud and Piazzolla on the program. (Also on site the musicians will conduct a free one-hour workshop targeting student musicians, from 4:30-5:30pm.)   

Rhett Smith’s Wave Street Studios, outfitted for high definition recording and live streaming (worldwide) came through the recent recession bruised but alive (which several neighboring businesses, some well-known at the time, did not.) On Wave Street’s website is a sampling of their startlingly vivid work, with some of it also found on YouTube. As area and out-of-town performers of all genres are quickly discovering, they can create audio and DVD recordings of world-class quality at rates affordable to artists who may not currently enjoy the advantages that come with major-distribution recording contracts.

Wave Street Studios is well-known locally for its public benefit work, if not so much perhaps for its private and commercial events. Yet this is no less a valuable resource for just such other uses. Like the TED series that once called Monterey home, Wave Street’s live streaming makes it easy for real-time conferencing on a global scale—as indeed it has for many clients. Smith also takes pride in keeping his high-end technology—including up to five video cameras, “same as CBS”—around the periphery of the facility with nothing technical to interfere with direct proximity between artists and their clients and audiences.  

This week’s update includes our impressions of Amahl and the Night Visitors as presented to bus-loads of school kids last Thursday at Sherwood Hall (Music Reviews page) and Philip Pearce’s coverage of PacRep’s Spamalot and Crazy for You at The Western Stage (Theater Reviews page).

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May your celebration of Thanksgiving, with friends and family, loom larger and linger longer than the mayhem of Black Friday.

Scott MacClelland, editor