An interdisciplinary collaboration joining science and art, The Crossroads Project aims to inspire reflection, foster engagement and incite action at a pivotal moment for our environment. In the live performance experience, and now on the album, the Fry Street Quartet brings together commissioned works by Grammy winner Libby Larsen and Pulitzer Prize nominee Laura Kaminsky to create a thought-provoking, viscerally affecting exploration of global sustainability.
Kaminsky’s Rising Tide tackles the divide between the natural world and man-made ecosystems. With a vivid, kinetic score, it encompasses a global life cycle, opening with sounds of wonder at the first stirrings of life, moving through the lushness of a world full of vitality to the turmoil of a complex civilization.
The water cycle forms the basis of Larsen’s Emergence. The work begins with playful evocations of precipitation and builds to gushing descents of runoff and hazy depictions of evaporation. Simultaneously, it captures a vast, potent emotional landscape. In its fourth movement, a wistful folk tune becomes distorted as its accompaniment becomes increasingly dark and jagged. Yet the work ends on a hopeful note, with the quartet resolved in a shared melody, and, ultimately, resounding as one gleaming, unified voice.
A one-of-a-kind collaboration, “The Crossroads Project” exemplifies the FSQ’s intellectual and musical curiosity. Described by the New York Times as “a triumph of ensemble playing,” the quartet recently premiered “As One” – Kaminsky’s opera centered on a transgender individual – at BAM. Winners of the Grand Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, FSQ has extensively toured and recorded masterworks by Beethoven, Schubert, Bartok and Britten as well as contemporary works by Joan Tower, Andrew Norman and Clarice Assad. The Fry Street Quartet holds the Dan C. and Manon Caine Russell Endowed String Quartet Residency at the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University.