Violinist David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet, Awakening
photograph © Zoran Orlic
On what exactly is the listener supposed to meditate in this odd combination of sounds and noises? The first section is a medley of musical flavors from around the Islamic world, including instrumental recollections of prayer calls and traditional songs. How that world and the United States collided with one another is then represented in the other two sections, the first attempting to capture the devastation of the attack with raucous and vicious discord and the second offering an elegy of more consonant sounds. The usual instruments of the string quartet were combined with prerecorded tape (handled by audio engineer Brian Mohr), evocative lighting (designed by Laurence Neff), and a crazy collection of percussive devices.
Tim Smith, A moving, inclusive 'Awakening' (Baltimore Sun, September 11, 2007)
Robert Battey, Kronos Quartet (Washington Post, September 10, 2007)
Joshua Kosman, Kronos Quartet revives post-9/11 world solidarity (San Francisco Chronicle, September 13, 2006)
The Kronos Quartet will be back at Clarice Smith on February 8, 2008, for a performance of Tan Dun's Ghost Ship with the pipa player Wu Man.