Praise for In Transit

Fifth House Ensemble performs on 'Afternoon Shift' at WBEZ from WBEZ on Vimeo.

"Whether it’s screening cartoons of a rat braving the plague-ravaged streets of London or performing Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time against astral projections in Adler Planetarium, 5HE goes all in with kooky, multisensory programs. Now the local chamber troupe turns to a more zeitgeisty add-on: social media."

- Mia Clarke, Time Out Chicago

"The superb local classical music group Fifth House Ensemble launches another of its beguiling conceptual, multi-media excursions, which function as subversive means to get people to hear classical music too often ignored outside of high ticket venues." 

- Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

You have to admire the sheer imaginative chutzpah these young performers bring to their envelope-pushing enterprise

- John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune


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IN TRANSIT: #undercoverhero”

“IN TRANSIT: #thisrocks”

“IN TRANSIT: #wink"

"IN TRANSIT: #iwitness"

In recent years, Fifth House Ensemble has pioneered the art of narrative chamber music performance. Through unprecedented artistic collaborations, 5HE creates multi-media experiences that depict, inspire, and respond to stories from around the world, intertwining dramatic narrative with chamber music of all genres.

For In Transit, 5HE turns to the most pervasive storytelling element in modern society: social media. Through interactive websites, applications, and services, we keep up with old friends, reach out to new contacts, and learn about others outside of our traditional circles through posts, links, comments, images, and video. In the 2011-2012 season, 5HE will create four stand-alone shows that tell stories of transformation through projected images and animations depicting characters creating, sharing, and connecting via their profiles online.

These performances will take place in and around community venues in Chicago free of charge, and will also be featured in touring venues including Northern Arizona University and Carthage College in Wisconsin. Like all 5HE programs, each dramatic element and visual cue will be tightly connected to moments of musical climax or character shift.

Leading up to these performances, digital personas will be created and meticulously curated on facebook and Twitter for the characters that are center to these tales. Writer Rebekah Scallet (writer/director for 5HE’s 2010-11 series The Weaver’s Tales), director Robert Quinlan, and animator Jay Nolte will breathe life and realism into these characters as they traverse In Transit’s digital landscapes of personal and public communication.

An important aspect of In Transit is an interactive component with the working title “Hope Cadenza.” In the final minutes of the performance, viewers are encouraged to tweet their hopes for the characters and communities involved in the show. Production staff screens these tweets and posts them to the projected images, allowing the words of the audience to bring the story to a close as the music finishes.

Music included in this program runs the gamut from Robert Schumann’s romantic and passionate Piano Quartet to David Ludwig’s anxiety-ridden The Catherine Wheel and Ellen Taffe Zwilich’s brief but poignant Divertimento.



Creators and Collaborators