Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Court in Elgin, continues its chamber music program, curated by Elgin Symphony Orchestra cellist Sara Sitzer. May's In the Studio features Crossing Borders Music's "The Real Vodou" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 24. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door.
The series features local musicians, as well as those from around the area working in a variety of classical music modes. In the Studio brings this genre into a less traditional setting allowing audience members close-up proximity to the musicians and their instruments.
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Additionally, the casual atmosphere allows performers to offer insight about the music and composers throughout the evening. Post-performance, audience members are invited to stay and mingle with the musicians.
The Real Vodou is a string quartet concert of Vodou ("voodoo") songs and Vodou-inspired compositions. Vodou formed the spiritual backbone for Haiti's revolution -- the largest, most successful slave revolt ever -- but has subsequently been maligned as a religion of "black magic." "The Real Vodou" cuts through the fiction and presents Vodou folk songs and music by Haitian composers inspired by Vodou rituals, ceremonies, and practices. The concert will include Vodou songs played by string quartet arranged by Julio Racine; Werner Jaegerhuber's Trio, which incorporates Vodou songs into the composition; and Ludovic Lamothe's "Sous la Tonnelle," a piece inspired by ceremonies within the sacred Vodou peristyle.
It will also feature Racine's String Quartet no. 2, a work inspired by Rara, a Lenten harvest-time musical processional associated with Vodou. Accompanying audio and visual materials will provide insight into the rich culture of Vodou that inspired the works.
The Crossing Borders Music Collective's mission is to foster intercultural appreciation, understanding, and cooperation through music. They envision a more harmonious world in which people experience musical and artistic dimensions of world cultures in such a way that influences how they shop, invest, travel, volunteer, do business, and live their day-to-day lives. To this end, they present moving music that tells compelling stories by composers from underrepresented cultures -- music that invites audiences to learn more and get involved. In sharing this music through live concerts and recordings, they partner with and promote other nonprofit organizations working around the world.
Sara Sitzer, originally from St. Louis, is an active and versatile freelance cellist in Chicago. A member of string quartet Chicago Q Ensemble and the ESO, she also performs regularly with the Milwaukee Symphony and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra in Miami. Sitzer is founding artistic director of the Gesher Music Festival of Emerging Artists in St. Louis.