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.