“Lead Me Home, Rochester: Our City”
Sunday, March 19, 2023 3PM ET
Rochester, N.Y.-- It will be a celebration of community and a profession of hometown love as chamber ensemble, fivebyfive presents a spring concert entitled, “Lead Me Home, Rochester: Our CIty” on Sunday March 19, 2023. fivebyfive is excited to share a program of new music, original favorites, and commissioned works to celebrate the city in which we all live, showcasing exceptional music, local photography, and mindful reflection.
It has been a busy year for the Rochester-based ensemble as the six members hit the road for performances in New York City and took part in three residencies at nationally-acclaimed music schools across the state. Now, the ensemble has returned to its roots and is ready to play for the hometown crowd in the Elizabeth Regional Gallery at ARTISANworks.
“We can’t wait to share a concert that celebrates Rochester and highlights what we love about our city,” said Laura Lentz, flutist and Artistic Director for fivebyfive. “Brittany Green’s beautiful Lead Me Home sparked the Rochester focus of this upcoming show, and we can’t think of a better venue than Rochester’s ARTISANworks to join together for this.”
During the title piece, Lead Me Home, the audience will be treated to a video created by Will Pyle incorporating works from three local photographers: Mary Ellen Bertram, Quajay Donnell, and Richard Colón. fivebyfive is known for its collaborative spirit and for featuring works by multiple artists, using different media, and having them join them for the musical performances.
“To be part of something that could help amplify the expression of another artform is both unique and incredible”, explained Colon, a native of Rochester. “When I document photographs of Rochester, I often do so with instrumental music playing in my headphones, so to see them presented in a similar way to how they were captured is very special to me.”
After intermission, MCC professor and Rochester-based writer, Maria Brandt, will lead a group reflection while fivebyfive improvises and creates new music. Brandt will prompt the audience to jot down thoughts about Rochester and what makes it “home” to them. The end goal is to bring people closer together with a shared appreciation of their hometown.
“Some of us grew up in Rochester, some of us moved here later,” reflected Brandt. “Either way, we're connected to this place--to the fresh-water lakes, the north-flowing river, the graffiti and the streets and the garbage plates. We're connected to the city parks and the city tunnels, the fall leaves and the spring mud, the music, each other, and more.... We're here, and being here matters.”
As part of the showcase (view program notes), fivebyfive will deliver a world premiere performance of Michael Gilbertson’s Low Hanging Fruit which takes inspiration from the biblical idea of temptation in the Garden of Eden. In 2018, Gilbertson was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Music, making him one of the youngest finalists in the history of the award.
fivebyfive will also feature a piece by two-time grammy nominated composer, Ólafur Arnalds. The multi-instrumentalist and producer from Mosfellsbær, Iceland typically creates music for strings and piano with loops and beats to form a sound ranging from ambient/electronic to atmospheric pop. fivebyfive’s bassist, Eric Polenik fell in love with the piece, Öldurót, which means ocean waves, and arranged it for the five instruments in his group.
“We love creating meaningful experiences with the music we program," said Poelnik, who arranged three pieces for the concert. "We want the audience to be transformed. We hope everyone will have their senses engaged to release, accept, and dream…. and of course, to celebrate the city of Rochester with us!”
fivebyfive is comprised of six artists, including Laura Lentz (Artistic Director, flute), Marcy Bacon, (clarinet), Ken Luk, (electric guitar), Eric J. Polenik (bass), Haeyeun Jeun (piano), and Marc Webster (Technical Director, audio and video engineer). The group formed in 2015 with the members agreeing on fivebyfive as the ensemble name. It is a broadcasting term meaning a signal which has excellent strength and perfect clarity to denote that it can be heard “loud and clear”.
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