A meditation on America’s relationship to our land, our resources, and ourselves, ETHEL’s Documerica is a multimedia concert that melds multiple screen video projections with original music by some of today’s top composers. Documerica is performed with electrifying virtuosity by the indie-classical quartet ETHEL.
Described by The New York Times as “new music bonding with old images in rich, provocative and moving ways,” this evening-long program was created in collaboration with projection designer Deborah Johnson and directed by Steve Cosson. ETHEL’s Documerica juxtaposes manipulated vintage 1970’s visuals with the music of today. Inspired by and showcasing evocative imagery from Project Documerica, a 1970’s photographic archive commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency, the program explores this compelling snapshot of a tumultuous era that powerfully connects to today’s environmental and social issues.
Featuring new work by ETHEL members and commissioned composers Mary Ellen Childs, Ulysses Owens Jr., Jerod Impichchaachaaha'; Tate, and James Kimo Williams, the program’s music is in constant dialogue with the projections in an arc that is by turns urban, rural, pastoral, and gritty. ETHEL selected composers for ETHEL’s Documerica who represent the diversity of America. Hailing from different regions, backgrounds and generations, and influenced by a variety of musical practices, genres and forms, each contributes his or her distinctive voice to the program.
Acclaimed as “unfailingly vital” (The New York Times), “brilliant,” “downtown’s reigning string quartet” (The New Yorker), and “one of the most exciting quartets around” (Strad Magazine), ETHEL invigorates the contemporary music scene with exuberance, intensity, imaginative programming, and exceptional artistry.
At the heart of ETHEL is a quest for a common creative expression that is forged in the celebration of community. As cultural and musical “pollinators,” the quartet brings its collaborative discoveries to audiences through multi-dimensional musical repertoire and community engagement.
Founded in 1998 and based in New York City, ETHEL is comprised of Corin Lee (violin), Kip Jones (violin), Dorothy Lawson (cello), and Ralph Farris (viola).
Learn more by visiting Ethel's <<website>>.
Ephemeral Geometry Lines (Childs)
Into the Liquid (Williams)
The Revival Crusade (Owens)
The Simplicity of Life Swaying of the Trees