Beyond Zero: 1914–1918
A new work for quartet with film
Composer Aleksandra Vrebalov
Filmmaker Bill Morrison
Creative Consultants David Harrington and Drew Cameron
Kronos Quartet is synonymous with curiosity and fearlessness. They are neither afraid to look forward or to look back.
This program is played without pause or intermission and features Prelude to a Black Hole, a compilation of unusual works chosen by Kronos to reflect the serenity and impact of the World War I centennial, followed immediately by Aleksandra Vrebalov’s new work Beyond Zero: 1914 - 1918, highlighted by Bill Morrison’s film.
Inspired by anti-war writings, music and art created during and immediately after the “great war,” Vrebalov’s composition begins with an old recording of Béla Bartók playing his 1916 solo piano suite and ends with fragments of a Byzantine hymn changed by Serbian monks accompanied by the live ritual tapping of old Vietnamese artillery shells. The work is accompanied by an original Bill Morrison film. Using decaying archival material, the visual poetry of Morrison’s images is, says Vrebalov, “hypnotic, mysterious and beautiful in a very odd way.”
Review by The Washington Post
That war is a beastly undertaking almost no one disputes, but a performance by the Kronos Quartet on Saturday drove it home.
— JOAN REINTHALER, The Washington Post, October 26, 2014