Austin Wulliman

Spektral Quartet: Serious Business Album Release Party

Congratulations to the Spektral Quartet on throwing one helluva party to celebrate the release of Serious Business! Not every day do I walk into a job to see my photo blown up on the big screen. And it's not just any quartet that can make the audience sit on whoopie cushions in unison. I was honored to be a part of this project, and I cannot recommend this album enough.  Brilliantly recorded and performed, the music explores the concept of humor in classical (whatever that means) music.  Mayne Stage, Chicago, 1.29.16. 

All photos © Copyright 2015 by Elliot Mandel. All rights reserved.  

Serious Business with Spektral Quartet

I've followed the Spektral Quartet since I first saw them at the Empty Bottle in 2011 (a string quartet in a punk bar??). I was hooked. I wrote about them. I saw them perform a bunch of times. I came to photograph them in concert. But this is the coolest.  SQ's newest album, "Serious Business," features my cover photo. This is the quartet's fourth album, the first to feature their image, and my second album cover.  "Serious Business" is a disc of new and commissioned work (plus one very old joke) that explores the theme of humor in music. Since the days of "Abbey Road," quartets have been photographed walking to - who knows where? We tried the same thing, but Doyle kept falling. The album is due out in late January 2016, and you can catch the release concerts in Chicago on January 29 and 31.  

Photos © Copyright 2015 by Elliot Mandel. All rights reserved. 

Chamber music and whiskey shots: a recap of June

June was filled with music.  So. Much. Music.  Spektral Quartet rocked The Hideout so hard, the boys needed whiskey shots.  Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago closed out its season with French art songs performed by Juliet Petrus and Matthew Gemmill at PianoForte Foundation.  Some highlights from the Rush Hour Concerts season include the Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia performed by violinist Liba Schacht and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's principal cellist John Sharp, and a beautiful concert by the trio of John Macfarlane, Brant Taylor, and Winston Choi.  Alice Teyssier and the International Contemporary Ensemble blew away a packed Constellation with Daniel Dehaan's "Trompe l'Corps."  And soprano J'nai Bridges hit some serious high notes during Make Music Chicago.  Click through the gallery below for a selection.