A valid question I have gotten more than once.Read More
This past spring I had the distinct honor to celebrate Ludmila Lazar's 50th year of teaching at the Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA). She was my professor during my master's degree at CCPA, and has continued to be a mentor and coach for Bow & Hammer. The history of Dr. Lazar's tenure highlights not only the legacy of Rudolph Ganz but the rich tradition that has existed at CCPA.
Just to give you a little background: Dr. Lazar first came to Chicago to study at CCPA as a young woman from Slovenia. Her time as a student under Ganz shaped so much of her work and led her down many roads of musical discovery. Dr. Lazar's musical knowledge is one that is extremely vast while yet being extremely personal. Her Slovenian heritage remains an incredible compass in navigating different customs and languages. She describes Slovenia as a crossroads of many cultures, and attributes her life there with giving her a sense of discovery and also the ability to recognize the dance and song within many musical languages. She is especially celebrated for her performances and lectures of the music by Béla Bartók.
While I know she has touched and truly changed the life of many, I'd like to (as poetically as I am able) share my experience of studying with her.
If there’s one thing that can be difficult to navigate as a student (or a teacher) in the arts, it’s the balance of cultivating self intuition and expression while learning techniques, styles, and forms. While that may not sound like a tricky balance, often in the pursuit of learning proper technique and style, students can straight-jacket themselves into regurgitating examples from their teacher or become solely concerned with getting a passage ‘correct’. While at the same time, students who forge ahead on personal feeling that is uninformed, can produce playing (or art) that lacks sophistication and maturity because they are not informed of historical context, fail to recognize references from the composer, and/or understand concepts that would make the work clearer and more palpable to the listener.
A lesson with Dr. Lazar addresses these two paradigms effortlessly. I remember working on the “Les Adieux” Sonata by Beethoven, and we spent the entire hour on the first 3 lines. The dotted rhythms in the introduction were not high on my priority list, and it became clear to her that it wasn’t a lack of rhythmic coordination on my part but furthermore that I wasn’t sensitive to what Beethoven was referencing with these distinct dotted rhythms. She asks, “Come on, Elizabeth, where have you heard these rhythms??” I shrug my shoulders. She exclaims, “Baroque French Overture!” I nodded, even though this perplexed me. Afterwards, I scurried home to listen to several recordings.
This would be the first of many stories where context would illuminate notation, helping me to see the stories and narratives the composer was saying through each work. This isn’t to say it discouraged me from creating my own narratives, but it helped me to recognize the concrete ideas already put in place, their historical references, and the possibility of connecting ideas to other contextual suggestions. The ability of the performer to relate a work to the surrounding world, personal situations, and for a larger global context is vitally important, maybe now more than ever. And this ability (for me at least) undoubtedly relies on a creative balance between specific and ambiguous contexts.
One last note about Dr. Lazar: She jokes about her 'dinosaur-ish' nature (refusing to email, not tech savvy). I find this quality about her extremely refreshing. As an American, I recognize my country's struggle with managing a talent for innovation and discovery while also maintaining and enlisting a deep and diverse knowledge of past and cultural traditions. These are often acknowledged as opposing ideas. Yet, her presentation of these two worlds is incredibly unique and genuine. To truly understand the past, to recognize the roots of our present abilities and actions with the achievements and failures of previous generations, can never be complete without acknowledging their risks, acceptance of new ideas, and ability to integrate the new with the old.
I'm so thankful to know her. I hope to be that person for others in the future. Thank you, Dr. Lazar, for all that you do and for all that you've done.
Anyone who has lived in Chicago for a full year knows there are a few indisputable rules:
Though the past couple winters have been mild, the supreme reign of Seasonal Affective Disorder is real in Chicago. So much cold and grey, much like Narnia (“always winter, never Christmas [or insert whatever festive joyous occasion you’d like]”), but not even as beautiful, often covered in black slush snow that has no power to stop the grind of Chicago productivity. We all become Michelin men and women in our full-length puffy coats just to spare us from hurtful air. Snow day? Forget it.
Anyway, of course there are harsher climates in the world. But that’s not the point of this story. There’s nothing more restorative than that first sunny day that smells like spring. Everyone goes a little nutty for it because nobody knew how depressed they felt until it melts away with the sunshine. Suddenly everything you hated about Chicago is touched by the weather Midas (who may be Tom Skilling in disguise), and you love it all over again.
Right now, there are so many happenings in the world that mirror the worst Chicago winters. So much grey it’s hard to see any beauty. So many situations bundled under layers and layers of emotions in an attempt to protect from extremely harsh realities swirling about, with no respite in sight.
Way to write an uplifting post, Kathryn.
Wait! It gets better, I promise.
So what I decided I’d share with you today are my Bow & Hammer rays of sunshine that brighten my day even on the worst of the days. Little (or big) things we do that have sustained me through our journey as a duo, and maybe could empower you, if you’re feeling down.
We take action.
Bow & Hammer gets sh*t done. Working together for 5 years and counting, there is no rock left unturned when it comes to making progress. Life as a violin/piano duo has presented so many challenges: less pooled resource, fewer available venue spaces (piano), fewer helping hands (4 total), fewer festival/competition opportunities (often duo playing is not considered chamber music), lack of support from the classical music industry (often not taken seriously as a young professional duo without any previous solo career fame, or being told professional duo careers aren’t possible), just to name a few. So we have made our own way, creating our own opportunities, concerts and series with the communities and individuals who have appreciated and supported us. And we could not be more grateful for the diverse network we have found in the process.
We believe each other.
Just as in any relationship, we have disagreements and grievances with each other. If an issue arises, we’ve actively developed the habit never to shut it down. Sometimes resolution is as simple as granting a request exactly how it’s asked. Sometimes it takes more discussion to find the effective resolution. If the issue feels outlandish, we assume a miscommunication has occurred and start by asking questions to verify. We trust that there would be no benefit to the organization or friendship of Bow & Hammer to falsely accusing the other of something.
Rather than hide uncomfortable situations, we support each other through them.
Music evokes many emotions, and it is quite common for our lives to mirror these emotions, or visa versa. That can be uncomfortable, and can need extra support. Sometimes it’s just as simple as an affirming smile, sometimes it’s more complicated than that. But the key is we face it. Together.
We have moved beyond the need for perfection.
Ok, let me clarify this. We are professional classical musicians. We spend hours upon hours (and have for the past 20+ years) elevating and refining our skill and technique. What I mean is, we use this as the base, not the pinnacle of our aspirations. Every performer knows there is practice involved to become polished and well-represented, and exorbitant amounts of elbow grease are necessary. But that’s not where we stop. We use these skills in tandem with investing our skills back into the world as relevant human beings.
We take action.
This sounds shockingly like the first point I made. But we recognize that the only way we can hope to support change in the world is by starting closest to us: ourselves. The way we interact together and with our growing network, the way we create, and the way we invest in each other. Trusting that there are others out there like us. Bonding with them to create business relationships built on integrity. Proving it’s possible.
There’s a lot of darkness around this winter. We’re there in it with you, and feel so many emotions. Despite all these inevitable storms, if we can provide each other with rays of light, maybe we can find more warmth in the world to change the proverbial seasons. We don’t all need to be politicians, artists, doctors, or philosophers. We all need to be humans together in our own ways, listening to how we can support each other.
So, cheers to a punctual springtime.
And, cheers to a ketchup-less hot dog.
Did you know 2017 marks the centennial to my favorite year in music? Check out our countdown for our top 5 favorite violin and piano works AND Elizabeth's favorite pieces from 1917. Playlist included!Read More
It’s 2010, I tell myself “You’re living the dream, how could you be so down?!”, and it’s true. In a beautiful small town of Italy, I wake up daily to stroll through cobbled streets, chat with locals, enjoy my fresh pastry with a marocchino, and then proceed to rehearse and make music with delightful colleagues. Weekly, we perform warmly received concerts somewhere within the breathtaking architecture of town. Seriously, the dream.
But I cannot shake this feeling of being so alone. It’s gotten so bad I can’t even enjoy this whimsical existence, let alone feel like a quality musician, which of course makes me feel all the more guilty. What is my problem?!
An altogether proactive person, I am determined to solve this issue: Sunrise jogs around the town’s borders, a perfectly picturesque omnimax experience of the horizon; practicing my repertoire harder, learning music faster and cleaner each day, conversing longer in Italian, tasting every new gelato flavor (avocado is amazing). Nothing works, but damnit, I’m going to enjoy this experience if it kills me.
Almost a month passes. I cannot believe how much I have accomplished: my Italian is finally different than my Spanish, my capacity to drink wine and eat gelato has grown admirably, I have watched every full length Michael Jackson music video projected nightly in town, and I have at least 5 performed works of repertoire freshly under my belt.
That’s how I feel.
My colleagues and I are concluding lunch with a daily trip to the gelateria, there’s happy chatter about this or that. I blurt out:
“Guys, I just realized it’s been three weeks since I got a hug.”
Um, yikes. Hello Awkward. As I blush from the suddenly unbearable heat, trying to reclaim my words out of the air, I can’t breathe.
Not a panic attack, my airflow was indeed constricted. But it’s because of the crushing bear hug that so rapidly enveloped me, snapping me out of this crazy funk and affirming all this work to make the dream. Someone heard me. Who knew. A hug.
Fast forward: 2017
Bow & Hammer is our dream now.
Consistently presenting shows that are that click for people in just the way they need. Collaborating with other artists and businesses as collective humans to provide more affirmations than exclusions between us.
But amongst the rush and hulaballoo of providing others with this human affirmation, we can often feel like I did in 2010, needing a hug ourselves. As a small organization, it’s almost embarrassing to admit how much each dollar counts. We put on a good face, truly love this dream, and work to the bone to make it happen, but we can’t do it alone.
Your financial support would be the biggest hug to us right now. Whether through Patreon, a one-time donation, buying a million tickets, telling all your friends to do the same, it all means we might actually make this dream last for a while. And hopefully all of us can benefit from that.
Living the arts career can feel like such a saga, every trek worthwhile for the dream. Thanks for your consideration to support us in this time critical to our growth and survival.
PS. Thank you to Elizabeth for that hug in 2010, and all the hugs since. I don’t know where I’d be without them.
Last week we had our first Élevé of the season. Tickets sold, people purchased our newly available coffee roast, there were smiles all around! Yasmin’s work was stunning (as always), and Ovation and Rhine Hall were (again, as always) spot on for supporting a beautifully received evening. After finally decompressing for a day (amazing and rare to have a day off), I was able to reflect on everything this means and how it exemplifies us as a duo. The actual event is just the tip of the iceberg, and for Élevé to happen, we needed to navigate so many moving parts.
Rather than bore you with the details of everything we did (though I am a sucker for spreadsheets, agendas, and timelines, and am very proud of all of the meetings and documentation from Élevé), I am more impressed by the “how” of our functioning, and I think it’s a great snapshot of Bow & Hammer as a whole.
Elizabeth and I are admittedly a great team. This may seem a rudimentary comment, as we have been playing together for 5 years now, but each year we strengthen that statement. There are so many ways this statement applies (musically, professionally, personally), but I think it (sort of) boils down to a single fact: We’re really different.
There are so many benefits to having a partner-in-crime who is very different: We constantly refresh each other’s perspectives, curate diverse programs, tag team being supportive and leading, and are, overall, good at presenting well-rounded projects. It’s a constantly spinning top of productivity and progress. But what is really mind blowing to me is how we have learned to value our differences, and everything that comes from being different. One observer might notice that we don’t agree on most things during a meeting/rehearsal, that there is often a point or few of tension. Someone else might think that we don’t argue at all.
Both are true. There is rarely a topic of discussion without disagreement. But we don’t argue that much anymore. Trusting that we both want to communicate effectively as performers, we are able to value our disagreements as necessary for becoming more effective together, and reach more people.
It takes trust that neither of us would knowingly jeopardize the other out of mutual respect.
It takes patience and confidence to explain our side in times of conflict, without condescending or patronizing the other, and vulnerability in hearing about our blind-spots or weaknesses.
It takes the admittance that we make something really great as Bow & Hammer, and that we’re equal parts in that duo no matter how different we can be.
I’m not sure ours is the most popular interpersonal plan floating around these days, but it sure works for us, and I think it shows through everything B&H creates. Each time we put it to the test, whether it be for Élevé, Industry Night, Patreon, launching a non-profit, rehearsing, traveling, or getting lunch, I am increasingly grateful and reassured, and can’t imagine Bow & Hammer without it.
Scapi Radio 10.09.17 Elizabeth Newkirk Kit Satoh
We sit down with Elizabeth Newkirk and Kit Satoh of Bow & Hammer to talk about music for violin and piano, their upcoming Élevé performance, Chicago as a collaborative hub, and post-apocalyptic positivity.
it's the finale...
We have quite a line up to end our first season of Élevé. This series has been an awesome platform for us to invite colleagues from several disciplines to collaborate with us for an evening of artistry, beautiful aesthetics, and one heck of a good time.
For the finale, we'll be performing the MYTHES by K. Szymanowski. Arethusa, Narcissus, and the Nymphs and Pan are the mythical characters that inspired the 3 movements of the MYTHES. You'll for sure hear quite the soundscape that explores the stories, emotions, and trajectories of each mythical creature.
We're not stopping there. We are also adding another artist for this exploration of the MYTHES. Harold Green, the amazing spoken word artist, will be joining us and performing original work within our performance of the MYTHES. We're so excited to not only work with Mr. Green, but his incredible storytelling will completely take this experience beyond the original source by adding elements of modern word, experience, and culture.
Tickets are available for Élevé via Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets include admission with either 2 or 3 drinks tickets for the amazing cocktails provided by Rhine Hall Distillery.
wednesday, june 7th
doors open at 7:30p, music starts at 8pm
@ Ovation Chicago: 2324 W Fulton
We're so looking forward to seeing you at the finale!
a special thank you to our sponsors!
It's finally here!
Bow & Hammer's new EP is being released today!
Available for purchase at www.bowandhammer.bandcamp.com, you can hear B&H's recording of the 3rd movement from Milhaud's 2nd sonata for violin and piano AND the 1st movement of the 3rd sonata by Brahms. This is an awesome intro to B&H's style, aesthetic, and sound. We hope you enjoy!
EP: Brahms and Milhaud was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Bob Weston.
This next IndustryNight will be so much fun! Our dear friend Shaunna McCarthy (whiskey guardian for Angel's Envy and all around amazing human being) is coming over and presenting 3 (yes THREE) cocktails highlighting the delicious bourbon that is ANGEL's ENVY. What are the cocktails, you ask? That you'll have to see for yourself. All I can say is: punch, stir, and DIY...
Now this pairing we find especially on point because we'll be performing the 3rd Sonata by Johannes Brahms. This sonata is jam-packed with all of the ups and downs in any brilliant novel, and we are so excited to share this work with you, as it is super near and dear to our hearts. And of course, last IndustryNight winner, Poulenc: I. Allegro Fuoco will be performed!
tickets to industry night are still available online or at the door for $10. NOTE: attendees must be 21+years to attend!
rootbuilt performance | experience | process
We've had an incredibly thoughtful and reflective week. We have launched a new campaign to help fund and expand our infrastructure, and in the process, we took a moment to think about our mission, our process, and how to share with you why we believe our projects, collaborations, and trajectories are so important. We thought of how we could describe our process for creating performances and experiences, and ultimately, we found that rootbuilt says it all.
what is rootbuilt, you ask?
Rootbuilt describes the process of constructing a live artistic performance that is only possible when built upon the roots of respect, skill, and relevance.
what's the big deal about artistic performance?
Through the abstract nature of performance, art provides a larger and potentially removed perspective of everyday occurrences, creating space and a unique opportunity for us all to process everyday life differently.
why do I need the artistic performance to be rootbuilt?
We have found through our experience that this model consistently creates the highest quality with the greatest efficiency. What a combo!
how does this rootbuilt thing happen?
Imagine a triangle with these three points: Performer, the Art, Audience. Each of these points is critical to the rootbuilt experience, and each point is connected with the two-way channels that intertwine each component’s Relevance (opportunity), Skill (responsibility), and Respect (fulfillment).
Each point is critical to the success of the other two. When one becomes disconnected, the whole process deteriorates.
YOU have the power
Together, and only together, we actively connect all three points. As the Performer presenting the Art, we pledge to you to keep those communication channels open tirelessly and earnestly. If you’ll participate and take up your role as the Audience, we can connect all three points and sustain this rootbuilt experience indefinitely. We will have no limits on where we travel, who collaborates with us, and how we can document the successes of this truly interactive performance model. Be part of this movement! Make a pledge!
what's an example of rootbuilt?
At our home-base of Chicago, we have a couple running performance series that already use this rootbuilt foundation to collaborate with something very relevant in Chicago: food. Through “Industry Night” and “Élevé”, we collaborate with chefs, farmers, distillers, and brewers for interdisciplinary performances that satiate all 5 senses in one night.
At the Banff Centre, in Banff, Canada, we recently presented another rootbuilt collaboration with their restaurant, and you can read about that here.
We have so many other plans up our sleeves, and can share them if you believe that rootbuilt is the way to go, and will join our efforts by making a monthly pledge for this movement! The more you pledge, the more channels of communication we are able to open to you. Check out our goals to see more specifically how your support directly affects our success.
Thanks SO much for taking a stand in this rootbuilt movement. It means the world to us. You are the world to us.
We're in it together.
Élevé: BH+ is almost here! Meet the musicians joining us for the performance of the Faure's Piano Quartet No 2...
Cellist Hope Shepherd is a member of the KAIA String Quartet, a Chicago based ensemble that works to promote world music as well as traditional string quartet repertoire. Ms. Shepherd has worked with some of the country’s leading conductors, chamber musicians and soloists. As principal cellist of the Civic Orchestra Chicago, and as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, she has had the opportunity to play under renowned conductors James Levine, Riccardo Muti, Kurt Masur, Jaap van Zweden, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Sir Andrew Davis. She has performed with cellist Yo-yo Ma as part of the Chicago Youth in Music Festival, Story Catcher’s Theater at the Illinois Youth Center and the annual Depauw University Discourse. As a student at Arizona State University Ms. Shepherd participated in a unique String Quartet Residency program that allowed her to receive instruction and perform alongside members of the Juilliard, St. Lawrence, and Brentano String Quartets.
A dedicated teacher, Ms. Shepherd has maintained a private cello studio for the past ten years. In addition to teaching privately, she has been a cello and group class instructor through Arizona State University’s String Project, a coach for ensembles in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and is currently a Suzuki Cello teacher at the Merit School of Music in Chicago.
Ms. Shepherd has performed as a soloist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and has given recitals at Katzin Concert Hall in Tempe, AZ and Duncan Recital Hall in Houston, TX. As a founding member of the Allium String Quartet, she has performed at the World Summit for Nobel Peace Laureates, in a performance at Mayne Stage Theater broadcast live on WFMT, in recitals for members of the League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and at local coffee shops.
Ms. Shepherd holds a master’s degree from Rice University where she studied with Brinton Averil Smith and bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University with Thomas Landschoot.
Michael Schneider is a violist who plays an active role in the Chicago arts community. As a performing artist he collaborates with ensembles such as Fifth House Ensemble and Chicago Composers Orchestra, performs with regional orchestras throughout the Midwest, and has an active chamber and solo career. International performance reviews have regarded Michael’s playing as “elegant, soulful and poetic.” Michael is the Program Assistant for Sharing Notes, a local non-profit organization that brings over 70 performances to hospitals in the Chicago area. Michael teaches violin and viola at Carthage College, Chicago Center for Music Education, and the Chicago West Community Music Center. Michael has completed his Master of Music from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and his Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Igor Fedotov and Mark Jackobs, respectively.
join us on march 22nd!
tuesday, march 14th and HBFC is comin' ova to 2620 W Washington!
"We believe that you should feel good about your food—where it comes from, how it’s prepared, how it is served and by whom. So when you eat our chicken, our sides and desserts, we hope you’ll spend some time thinking about the ideas behind every bite."
Their shop is located at:
3361 North Elston Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
industry night's popular vote winner:
Poulenc 1, Allegro con Fuoco
Hear it next industry night on May 9th!
what a fabulous last week in beautiful Banff!
There is so much to tell, where do we start?! New guests, lots of performances, thank yous, and more. Off we go:
first things first, meet Adrian and Alan...
ADRIAN FUNG is no stranger to Banff, and joined us from Toronto (locally pronounced TCHRON-oh) with multiple aces up his sleeve: award-winning cellist, founding member of the Afiara Quartet, arts executive, educator, producer, and did we mention he’s also VP of Innovation of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra? NBD. Meetings with him involved fast-paced mock interviews and business pitches, honing our dreaming skills (and by honing, I mean pushing them farther than we had ever allowed), and flipping our perspective of negotiation on its head to actually achieve those dreams. Exhilarating might start to describe this experience.
ALAN PIERSON, a fellow Chicagoan (originally, anyway)! Though he’s mostly out in the world as the Artistic Director and conductor of the 20-member ensemble Alarm Will Sound, Principal Conductor for Ireland’s Crash Ensemble, Artistic Director of Brooklyn Philharmonic, he also makes regular visits to Chicago as a Conductor/Lecturer at Northwestern University. Using his “against-all-odds” success experience from Alarm Will Sound, he think-tanked with us about our mission and identity to give us that edge into progress and gave us endless resources to support those steps.
Before we share with you the beautiful projects and concerts of the last week, we wanted to first write our sincere thanks for the past 3 weeks. We grew so much, gained exorbitant amounts of information, and gained such an inspiring and energetic network of colleagues and friends. We canNOT thank everyone involved enough for this amazing opportunity. It is incredibly fulfilling to affirm that through mutual respect, empathy and artistic freedom, we can create such tangible expressions of human connection and restoration in our communities.
director/leader/mother: Pedja Muzijevic
guests: Daniel Pettrow, Chris DePape, Jenny Bilfield, Geoff Nuttal, Adrian Fung, Alan Pierson
colleagues: Simone Baron, Amy Brandon, Fernando Bravo, Melanie Conly, Geoffrey Conquer, Beth Polese, Laura Jacyna, Ivan Moshchuk, Matt Poon, Adam Rosenblatt, Thea Rossen, Jared Yapp, Miki Sawada, Ricardo Tovar Mateus, Chloe Weston, and Cathy Wood
and a special thanks to the Banff Centre Team!
It's concert time at Three Ravens Restaurant!
but first, meet Jenny Bilfield...
We had the most distinct pleasure of spending the week with President and CEO of the Washington Performing Arts, Jenny Bilfield. Her mind-blowing expertise in arts management, curated concerts, and the non-profit world were unbelievably helpful, informative, and inspiring. Speaking with her in earnest was an unforgettable experience, gaining her personal and specific insight to some very important next steps for b&h.
and we can't forget Geoff Nuttall...
As first violinist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet based in San Francisco, Geoff Nuttall’s energy is electrifying. As you can imagine with electrifying energy, he was tireless in his offerings as a performer, coach, and mentor. Being privy to Pedja’s personal networks adds such depth and humanization to the concept of a “Concert in the 21st Century”, as Geoff spoke with such transparency about his career as a chamber musician. Every day we are so encouraged to connect with artists as part of this thriving (not dying) culture.
finally, our concert at Three Ravens...
Our project proposal for the residency application was this: a multi-course, multi-sensory restaurant/concert experience. Through the support of the Banff Centre, the faculty and staff for the “Concert in the 21st Century”, and the staff of Three Ravens Restaurant, we were able to collaborate with Executive Chef Sébastien Tessier and his amazing culinary team to make this concert a complete success. Here's the play-by-play:
Location: The breathtaking Three Ravens Restaurant. Unobstructed views of Canadian Rocky Mountain range.
Tech setup: 5’10” C6 Yamaha brought to the space and placed perfectly to highlight the natural mountainous backdrop. Subtle but exciting light design and spotlights (shout outs and thanks to our production manager, Stuart Bremner!).
Guest setup: two long tables of twelve guests (even the President and VP Arts and Leadership of Banff joined us for the evening!). Full place settings with individual menu cards.
Five courses. Each had a musical component and a culinary component which were paired together, getting to weave together the sense sight and hearing with taste, touch, and smell. We prefaced each piece verbally, and Chef Sébastien presented his inspiration from our music, connecting to his courses.
Inspired by the diversity of a fully coursed meal, we used the bombastic and introspective Sonata for Violin and Piano by Francis Poulenc (inspired by Federico García Lorca’s poem “The Six Strings”), peppered with selections from Manuel DeFalla’s Suite Populaire Espagnole. Using the connecting thread of nationalism and Spanish folklore, the two pieces created a witty arc full of levity, color, idealism, and complexity.
Interpreting our program in such a refreshing way, Chef Sébastien used the musical textures and moods to craft a beautifully artistic menu, which parallel to our musical program was full of wit, levity, color, and complexity. Taking pride in the local and seasonal ingredients, he led us on a culinary journey through Alberta, from quail and pickled root vegetables to prawns and smoked sablefish, elk and bone marrow to japonaise cake with lavender meringue. Drooling yet? Take a look at the menu card to see the full descriptions, and you’ll be in a puddle. Tasting an earnest and refined musical impression is an incredibly unique experience we’d highly recommend.
As we start week 3, we are so eager to work with new guest faculty, see the projects of our colleagues formalize, plan future collaborations and continue developing this dream-like business we have in b&h.
For more photos and videos, check out our instagram! @bowandhammer
Greetings from beautiful Banff, Canada!
"Concert in the 21st Century" at the breathtaking Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is off to an amazing start! We feel pretty pampered living in luxury at the Banff Centre (we don't even need to make our beds!), and sharing this residency with 17 other artists from around the world is giving us lots of future travel ideas! Their stories and projects are astoundingly (though not unexpectedly) diverse, and with the help of the unstoppable production team, we're getting to see all these ideas come alive.
Pedja Muzijevic is our fearless residency leader (he fondly refers to himself as "mother" more days than not), hailing from NYC as a curator, pianist, and presenter. Through his dryly hilarious anecdotes, he's revealing such discernment of programming and concertizing within the performing arts industry. He performed a solo concert Friday, "Bach and Co.", featuring C.P.E. Bach, John Cage (screws, nuts, washers, tape purposefully set inside the piano), and Henry Cowell. What. ... It was such a beautifully cohesive program! Featuring Chris DePape's lighting design (more on him below...), we became part of Pedja's perfectly quirky and unquestionably intelligent world for the evening. Absolutely delightful
A true display of community building and networking, Pedja has invited colleagues for a week at a time to share their quirks and anecdotes with us, and boy are there lots of them (colleagues, quirks, and anecdotes)! Last week we were joined by actor/director Daniel Pettrow and lighting designer Chris DePape.
Daniel Pettrow is an actor, director, and visual artist hailing from the Wooster Group (New York City), the Centres Dramatiques Nationaux (Paris), Bluemouth Inc (Toronto), and the Heifetz Institute (Virginia), just to name a few. Leading each planned workshop activity with "I have no idea what is going to happen", he heightened our awareness through physicality, spontaneity, and laughter (so much laughter), challenging our perspectives of performance limitations and interpersonal connection. We fully intend on maintaining this new depth (especially the laughter) in our rehearsal process and performance.
Chris DePape comes from Calgary, Canada. A true master of lumens, Chris gave us an awesome glance into the world and language of lighting design. We were able to ask a ton of questions, even get DIY advice (tin foil triumphs again!), and see his artistry live at Pedja's recital. We are really looking forward working with him next week in prep for our concert!
Though that all sounds horribly boring, don't worry, we've had a little bit of fun while we're up here as well! As though there isn't enough beauty at the Banff Centre itself, we took a trip to the Fairmont resort at Lake Louise to spend the day. Cross country skiing, ice skating, snowball fights, and ice castles may have all been part of the day.
Stay tuned for Week 2, where you'll meet Chef Tessier from the Three Ravens Restaurant where we will be presenting our project performance for this residency!
For more pics, check out our instagram @bowandhammer.
happy new year!
We are super excited for 2017. We hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are ready to tackle 2017 with more great music, food, art, and community.
- Bow & Hammer is officially a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit! Look for our upcoming campaign to see how you can support B&H AND receive a tax-deductible "Thank you" from us!
- This coming February, Bow & Hammer will attend Banff Centre for Arts for a residency in "Concertizing in the 21st Century". We are looking forward to this great opportunity, as we will be continuing to develop and further our "Industry Night" model.
- Stay tuned! We will be releasing our very first EP! Details of when coming soon!
- March 14th: Industry Night starts back up! We will be collaborating with Honey Butter Fried Chicken.
- First 25 to rsvp are free, after that tickets are $10 online or at the door.
- March 22nd: Élevé: B&H+, our 2nd concert in our new series, Élevé, will feature our special guests: Hope Shepherd (cello) and Michael Schneider (viola). They'll be joining us for the amazing Piano Quartet no 2 by Gabriel Faure. B&H we'll start the concert off with Ravel's Violin Sonata No 2, featuring the ever popular "Blues" movement.
- Tickets are $15, buy them here
- Keep up with all of our other upcoming dates on our website and/or get all of your tickets purchased on our Brown Paper Tickets profile.
photos: another amazing shoot with RICH SHILKUS
check the photos from our shoot in Ganz Hall!
thanks again for all of your support. keep in touch. and we'll see you soon!
with food, love, and music,
We are super excited for our residency at Ovation! Not only is Ovation a world class space that oozes cool and inspiration with its high vaulted ceilings, killer sound system, beautiful Steinway piano, and lofty, industrial aesthetic, but the awesome folks at Ovation have been nothing but supportive as we've created our new concert series: ÉLEVÉ.
Adapting the concepts of underground music and speakeasy bars, Élevé spotlights multi-faceted artistic performances born from the collaboration between violin/piano duo Bow & Hammer and event space Ovation Chicago. Through ONLINE SALES ONLY, your ticket will provide a midweek night of live performance, proprietary libations crafted by Rhine Hall Distillery (2 included drink tickets/person), and a chance to socialize with all your closest friends in one of the classiest venues on the west side! Come find out what we have to share with you...
Here are the details:
When: Sept 28 / Mar 22 / Jun 7 Wednesday Night, 8:00p-10:00p
Where: Ovation Chicago
Who: Bow & Hammer (plus a few more on occasion)
Sounds awesome, right? Tickets for our first concert in the ÉLEVÉ series can be purchased online here. All of the tickets need to be purchased online, we will not have cash at the door.
Let us know if you have any questions, and see you at Ovation!
tuesday, september 20th, 8p
2620 w washington blvd
Hurry to grab a free RSVP! Otherwise it's 10 bucks online or at the door.
We are so excited to feature Sauce and Bread Kitchen for our #industrynight season opener! Sauce (Mike Bancroft, founder and master of the amazing line of hot sauces: Co-op Hot Sauce) and Bread (Anne Kostroski, founder and master baker at Crumb Chicago ) is a cafe in Rogers Park on Clark near Devon. Everything is locally sourced, made from scratch, and on top of that has its roots working with Chicago Youth (read on that here).
In addition to their cafe in Roger's Park, you can find Co-op Sauces (including salsas, poblano mustard, krautchi, and bloody mary mix) in most of Chicago's grocery stores, farmer's markets, and B&H's refrigerators. Many cafes carry Crumb Chicago's delicious croissants and scones (including where you often find B&H at the West Loop La Colombe). You can purchase bread from Anne directly at the Green City Farmer's Market and the Logan Square Farmer's Market, or at your local Green Grocer Chicago.
Everything they do is not only delicious, but made with so much care, inspiration, and heart. Check these fabulous people out and join us at industry night where you can taste their amazing work!