String Quartet No. 5 "Gregorian Funk"
Andrew Haveron, Romano Crivici, violins;
Robert Harris, viola; Adrian Wallis, cello.
ISMN: 979-0-720090-44-3 -String Quartet No. 5 (Gregorian Funk)
Recorded with funding from the Australia Council for the Arts (2016)
“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 Hartstein, 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
Review: “… first it seems unchanging, repetitive, but as shapes and colours – or, in the case of Crivici's music, sounds and timbres – roll by, you tune in to the detail, gradually hearing more and more. A squeak here, a huff there, a quick glissando: sparks of colour in a fascinating sonic landscape...
Crivici operates simultaneously from within and without traditions, moving from intricate counterpoint to free-form improvisations. Of the three works his Gregorian Funk, stands out as a real exploration, playful and dangerous"
This is a video of a live performance at Venue 505, Surry Hills in 2015 - for which Elektra won the 2015 Sydney Fringe Festival 'Genre Excellence Award" Best Musical Performance
Notes and reflections (taken from entries to the foreword)
Postscript The now published edition is a revision of the earlier version we performed at Venue 505 on the 5th Sept, 2015. Based on the feedback of the players, (particularly Andrew’s bold and kind advice on taking the knife to it) coupled with my own sense of lost-ness in the work overall, I have rewritten large sections of the second movement, at the same time excising 50 bars of sagging dead-weight......
In earlier incarnations of Elektra, there were often issues of, or was it creative conflict, in writing for a quartet and at the same time being in it; in wanting to give the group creative freedom through improvisation, (as in jazz) yet as a composer wanting to create the perfect structure, not subject to the vagaries of performance that often arose. Sometimes Elektra did well, other times not… the philosophy was there, but the luxury of time, for the hours of practise on individual impro and group work (again, as in the jazz tradition) was not there… more often than not it was fucked, and that included me…. Life goes on.
We would often, depending on the venue, perform this, and other works with electronics, ie, pickups on the instruments, going through guitar pedal effects boards, then through a small mixer which would then go through a looping device; in my writing I would make use of such possibilities. In the longer term I realise this is not an approach most string quartets even envisage (and I also understand why)….. . I leave such decisions, as well as stylistic approaches to the improvisational solos, ie, jazz, ambient, heavy metal, ‘contemporary’, (or whether to omit them), to the discriminating tastes and performance requirements of the performers.