Kronos

So Why is Improvisation so Important? — by Jeffrey Zeigler

Like so many classically trained cellists, improvising was never something that I felt very comfortable trying. And although most of my professional life has been in the world of new music, improvisation was not something that I had explored in depth until a few years ago. My improvisational journey began literally the day after my final day with the Kronos Quartet when I played a concert at The Stone in New York with John Zorn and several others on one of his monthly improv nights. For those of you who have never been to one, the way that these concerts work is that everyone sits downstairs in the basement and one by one people decide in the moment who plays with whom. It can be duos, trios or quartets—you literally [...]

K-Bow (Part 1) — by Jeffrey Zeigler

A few weeks ago my quartet traveled to Syracuse University for a week long residency. While there we had many interesting and thought provoking interactions with the student body. Our activities ranged from giving a standard string master class to a screening and discussion about the film Requiem for a Dream to a discussion about how one could navigate their way through the music industry. We also worked with a team of film students for a music television show called Loud and Clear. But perhaps the most distinctive activity of the week involved our concert that utilized a new and extremely innovative technology. The new device that we used is called the K-Bow. Before we continue I need to answer the question: what is the K-Bow? In the simplest terms, [...]

Sound Designer — by Jeffrey Zeigler

As we continue our discussion about the various ways to integrate a sophisticated approach to sound design, there is one point that I would like to make before we get to far into the equipment nitty-gritty. That is of the need for your own sound designer. I think that the person in this role has both the most important as well as the most unsung job in a given concert. Important because they have complete responsibility for how you actually will sound in the hall. You may play wonderfully, but it could all be for nothing if, for example, the sound person has set you up to sound brash and tinny. But I also say unsung because the audience will only see them as the person standing at the mixing [...]

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