Hear Color, See Sound

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This week, The New Canon gets a shot-to-the-arm of energy courtesy of the JACK Quartet's John Richards and Ari Streisfeld plus composer and Victoire bandleader Missy Mazzoli. As they prep for the tenth annual Look and Listen Festival, John, Ari and Missy talk about their respective programs for the festival's opening and closing nights, and what happens when sight and sound collide. Chat with us in the window below or via Twitter with the hashtag #q2new. Can't wait til then? Leave your questions for all three in the comments below. You can also grab a free download from Victoire's debut CD, Cathedral City, which is Q2's Album of the Week.

Cathedral City

While I've never taken a formal visual arts class and couldn't tell you the dates of the Hudson River School period, I could tell you the pitches and instruments I hear when I look at, say, a work by Worthington Whittredge (an E-flat major French horn, in case you were curious). Like György Ligeti, Olivier Messiaen, Amy Beach and Hélène Grimaud, I have synesthesia—an involuntary association of colors and visuals to music. Which is why I find gallery and museum concerts such as the Look and Listen Festival so fascinating. This year's series of concerts is set against the backdrop of the Chelsea Art Museum's Jean Miotte retrospective, a pitch-perfect complement to genre-defying and boundary-smashing works by the likes of Julia Wolfe, Philip Glass, Colin Jacobsen, John Hollenbeck and Missy Mazzoli and performances by equaly-cosmopolitan musicians like harpist Bridget Kibbey, Brooklyn Rider, Victoire and, of course, the JACK Quartet.

We'll hear some works today from the artists and composers featured in this year's Look and Listen lineup that exemplify the broad and unrestricted strokes of Miotte and bring his bold black-on-whites and unabashed reds and blues to sonic life. In addition to the JACK Quartet playing Caleb Burhans's Contritus (which they premiered in New York at the 2010 Look and Listen Festival), we'll also hear some of Missy Mazzoli's compositions for her all-female quintet Victoire. Rounding out the palette are performances by Brooklyn Rider and Phyllis Chen. 

And of course, check out the 2011 Look and Listen lineup below, including Q2's own Nadia Sirota hosting Thursday 19's opening night bonanza, WNYC's John Schaefer leading Friday 20's show and WQXR's Terrance McKnight taking the wheel for Saturday 21's performances.