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Concert unites musical ensembles

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The New Orford String Quartet was joined on stage by members of Street Symphony for a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet at Morgan Auditorium, Monday evening. The Canada-native New Orford String Quartet picked up where the historic original Orford String Quartet left off, performing Canadian works old and new, along with obscure pieces from the last century. The New Orford String Quartet has performed for over 26 years on six continents. Street Symphony is making their mark in the music world by dedicating their time to performing for the incarcerated, homeless and mentally ill in downtown Los Angeles. photo by / Daniel Torres

The New Orford String Quartet was joined on stage by members of Street Symphony for a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet at Morgan Auditorium, Monday evening. The Canada-native New Orford String Quartet picked up where the historic original Orford String Quartet left off, performing Canadian works old and new, along with obscure pieces from the last century. The New Orford String Quartet has performed for over 26 years on six continents. Street Symphony is making their mark in the music world by dedicating their time to performing for the incarcerated, homeless and mentally ill in downtown Los Angeles. / photo by Daniel Torres

Kayla Hockman
Staff Writer

The New Orford String Quartet, a Canadian award winning ensemble, accompanied by Street Symphony, a nonprofit musical ensemble, performed at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Morgan Auditorium for a special evening of music.

“Music is a form of communication that goes far deeper than words,” said Vijay Gupta, founder and artistic director of Street Symphony. “Music can heal.”

The New Orford String Quartet began with “Op. 76 No.1” by Austrian composer Joseph Haydn.

The melodious tones of the violins and cello filled the auditorium with grace.

The ensemble also played the continuous piece “Journal: String Quartet No. 2” by Canadian composer and electric guitarist, Tim Brady.

There were no breaks in between each portion of the piece.

“You can think of each (section) as one day of a week,” said New Orford String Quartet cello player Brian Manker.

“Each one has a particular flavor, a particular color; but when they are all combined and when you hear the entire thing as one, you can view it as a small snapshot of a week.”

The ballad began with quiet and intense melodies from the violins, similar to a horror movie soundtrack.

The piece highlighted the musical conversation between the violins and cello.

One of the sections of the piece utilized guitar picks for a portion of the song, dedicated to Brady.

The rhythm and driving energy of the piece was fascinating due to the peculiar use of guitar picks.

“The guitar picks produce a more projecting sound and add an interesting quality,” Manker said.

The piece also utilized flanging, an audio effect in which two identical auditory signals are played simultaneously, but one signal is slightly delayed.

The use of flanging in the performance created a mesmerizing sound and pitch that echoed throughout the auditorium. This added to the horror sounding piece.

After intermission, Street Symphony accompanied New Orford String Quartet to perform “Octet” by German composer Felix Mendelssohn.

The piece incorporated both quartets to converse with one another musically. Both quartets blended violin and cello effortlessly, raising the authenticity of classical music to another level.

“There’s a story that apparently (Mendelssohn) was possessed because the music was so brilliant and so bright and beautiful,” Gupta said.

“But I think saying that he was possessed actually doesn’t give him the full acknowledgement of his genius.”

Street Symphony members dedicate their time performing at numerous Los Angeles County jails and homeless shelters in downtown Los Angeles.

They have performed over 63 times at Los Angeles County jails. New Orford String Quartet is one of Canada’s best-known musical ensembles, performing for over 26 years and more than 2,000 concerts on six continents.

“It was my first time ever going to something like this,” liberal studies senior Danielle Ongpin said. “It was beautiful how well it all came together.”

Kayla Hockman can be reached at kayla.hockman@laverne.edu.

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