Balanescu recently premiered a ground breaking project in collaboration with the Austrian video artist Klaus Obermaier, and featuring the Balanescu Quartet. His work is based on the songs and voice of the legendary Romanian folk singer Maria Tanase, and it was performed for the first time at the Art Rock festival.
“limestone & felt” presents two kinds of surfaces – essentially hard and soft. These are materials that can suggest place (a cathedral apse, or the inside of a wool hat), stature, function, and – for me – sound (reverberant or muted). In limestone & felt, the hocketing pizzicato and pealing motivic canons are part of a whimsical, mystical, generous world of sounds echoing and colliding in the imagined eaves of a gothic chapel. These are contrasted with the delicate, meticulous, and almost reverent placing of chords that, to our ears today, sound ancient and precious, like an antique jewel box. Ultimately, felt and limestone may represent two opposing ways we experience history and design our own present.”