Elektra String Quartet photo gallery
“There is a whole world of music that defies the neat categories of marketing departments and record stores. The many artists who dare to fall between the cracks, -who cannot be accurately labelled jazz, classical, rock …and so on, –run the risk of being ignored or even ostracised by an industry that doesn’t care for deviants.
So it is that an ensemble like Elektra can fall between the shop shelves, radio programs, critics and even between venues. …. This quartet, under the musical direction of Romano Crivici, dares to be different in many ways. It uses amplification and electronics, it encompasses improvisation from within the ensemble and from guests, and it predominantly –on this night entirely- plays the compositions of Crivici.
The longest piece presented was Gregorian Funk, which began with a highly-charged introduction from cellist Marcus Hartstei, leading to a genuine sense of groove as the ensemble strutted its way through Crivici’s funky riffs.”
John Shand - Sydney Morning Herald, 18th June, 1997
Romano Crivici formed the Elektra String Quartet in 1990. It came to be considered one of Australia’s most innovative and prolific ensembles in the contemporary music scene. Performing both nationally and internationally with tours of South America and Europe, it presented an always exciting and accessible range of music, with particular focus on Australian composers, and the compositions of its director and founder, Romano Crivici.
The quartet continues to flourish. Its recent concert series at Venue 505 in Sydney, won the Sydney Fringe Festival Genre Excellence Award for Best Musical Performance with its perfromance of Crivici's Gregorian Funk
The quartet has a stellar line-up of performers - Andrew Haveron and Romano Crivici on violin, Robert Harris, viola and Adrian Wallis playing cello.
Sydney-based, Elektra came into being in 1990 in response to its members strongly felt need to go beyond the conventional limits, images and accepted boundaries of the traditional string quartet.
Performing both nationally and internationally Elektra received critical acclaim as a ground breaking, exciting and always accessible voice in the Australian contemporary music scene
Crivici says - "Looking back, it is almost strange to remember the excitement and uniqueness of being in a position to explore, and participate in the creation of new music, new techniques, sounds and technologies, both amongst ourselves, and in collaboration with other musicians and composers. As such, our performance philosophy consisted in balancing our experimental and improvisational musical explorations with solid core works in our programming"
Members of the quartet have changed over the years:
Mirka Rozmus, Jacob Plooj, Chris Latham, Romano Crivici on violin; Rudi Crivici on viola and Adrian Wallis, Marcus Hartstein, Peter Morrison, Emma Luxton, on cello.
Elektra performed works by its director and founder Romano Crivici, as well as commissioning many new works by Australian composers including the following:
Elektra Pulses Roger Dean (for quartet and prepared tape), 1993
High Tension Wires - Nigel Westlake premiere, 1993
Simple Pleasures - Blair Greenberg (string quartet), 1994
Tao Streams - Peter Schaeffer (sitar & string quartet), 1994
Gaussian Blur Equation - Tony David Cray, 1995
Fornicon Suite - Martin Armiger, 1995
Enyato I - Ross Edwards, 1996
Flow - Robert Davidson, 1996
Romberto’s Return - Linsey Pollak (vln, vla & loop), 1997
Phospherics - Paul Stanhope (sax, vln and vla), 1997
Life at 20,000KPa - Mathew Hindson (vln, vla & loop), 1997
Bent Bucolic Blues - Greg White (vln, vla and loop), 1997
String Quartet No 1 - Greg White, 1997
Acid Rain - Linsey Pollak (quartet and loop), 1998
Techno-Logic 1,3,5 - Mathew Hindson, 1998
Each of these compositions, in their different ways embodied some of the wild and experimental urges in our collective explorations. In retrospect, it is easy to see that it was a two way flow, between the performers and creators, and that in our interactions we all learned from each other and were changed.
We are grateful indeed to have been involved in, beyond the conventional limits, images and boundaries into something deeper and in the end, dare one say it, universal. That is, in giving voice to our living composers in whose music was being expressed something of the soul. Who could have asked for anything more!?