Sunday, September 11, 2011

Contemporary Chamber Music

The Accidental Music Festival hosted an evening of contemporary chamber music at Urban ReThink (625 E. Central Blvd). When I arrived, musicians were milling around and there was the usual mad rush to get everything in place and working by show time. Violinist Eric Smith introduced himself. He knew of my work since I had sketched a string quartet he played with in Winter Park last winter. He said someone shot video of the performance and there I was in the front row of some chairs set up in the street sketching away.

For the first piece Brandon Clinton played piano and Christopher Belt, the festival organizer, played guitar. I decided to sketch from halfway up a staircase. Each chamber music pieces was short and to the point. Eladio Sharron performed with Carrie Wiesinger on flute. Their piece elicited a standing ovation from the 30 or so attendees. On a trip to Germany, I discovered that a very distant relative, Cornelia Thorspecken, is a professional flute player in Wiesbadden. She gave me a CD and since then I've become infatuated with the pure sweet tone of the flute. Thad Anderson performed last doing a drum solo. He warned people sitting close that things were going to get loud. If people needed to shield their ears, he wasn't going to be insulted. Bravely people stayed where they were. It was a stunning way to end the otherwise peaceful evening of music.

On the outer edge of each step of the staircase I was on, there were small candles in glass jars. I was careful to avoid them when I rooted around in by bag for art supplies. When the concert was over, an old man came down the steps cradling his empty dishes from the salad he ate during the concert. He had a cane and it dragged next to him as he walked down. The cane knocked over every candle on the way down. A sound technician followed him down, righting each candle as it tumbled. He turned to me and said, "Unbelievable." Luckily they were not lit. It was hilarious simply because the guy had no clue about the havoc he was causing.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


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