Ok, So These Guys are Pretty Cool

photo 2In preparation for our upcoming performances of Caught: The Wide Open (including tonight at Concordia University of Ann Arbor), we've been joined in rehearsal this week in rehearsal by guest artists Caleb Burhans, Grey Mcmurray, and Martha Cluver (as you might have read in our last blog post).  We're pretty excited to having a composer present, and it's really awesome to have all of the musicians in the rehearsal room.  But also, these people are crazy awesome.  Seriously, they are so cool, and each of them brings their own fresh, new outlook and approach to rehearsal.  In this week's Weekly Inspiration Blog Post, 5HE violinist Drew Williams reflects on having Caleb, Grey, and Martha in the rehearsal room.  And if you want experience how awesome they are, and how they raise 5HE's awesome level, make sure you catch a performance of Caught: The Wide Open!  In addition to tonight's performance in Ann Arbor, we're also playing the show on Sunday 3/3/13 at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI at 3:00pm, and the Chicago Premiere performance is on Saturday 3/9/13 at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art at 7:30pm.  Trust me, you don't want to miss this!  

photo 3Okay, so I knew that this Caleb Burhans dude was pretty talented.  I mean, we've been working on this Excelsior piece for months and its totally awesome.  But when I met him face to face, I knew something was up.  First of all, he and his buddy Grey's hair-dos have no business being that cool.  Grey, the guitar player, has these awesome purple shoes and wacky print collared shirts.  Caleb's finger nails are painted black, and he wears a sweet leather coat.   Caleb and Grey have these magic boxes that they attach to their instruments.   They press on these boxes with their feet, and they make the most amazing sounds.  When we asked Caleb's wife Martha, the featured soprano in Excelsior, if she would like someone to sound the first note of her solo for her, she replied 'oh, I'll get it from my head.'  Completely abnormal.

photo 1What really blew me away was the time in rehearsal when Clark and I were struggling to play this passage of delicate harmonics convincingly.  It was written such that I would play a note and Clark would answer me one beat behind.  Caleb demonstrated by doing some feet ritual on his magic box that made it so every time he played a note, the magic box replayed the note one beat behind.  Caleb made the most beautiful phrase in collaboration with the magic box.  I almost cried.  Clark and I, being good Suzuki kids (having studied in the same Suzuki program with the same teacher when growing up), then knew what to do.  Nothing like weird, stylish New York music geniuses to drop a big, fat inspiration bomb in our already action packed, exciting rehearsals!


P.S. -- Please enjoy these photos from rehearsal on Wednesday, but please also forgive us for the iPhone quality of the pics!