Blog / Watch: Pekka Kuusisto on Shaker Loops

Watch: Pekka Kuusisto on Shaker Loops

Posted on 30 Jan 2017 by Leo Messias


Image: A 19th-century lithograph of shakers practising ‘their mode of worship’ near Lebanon in upstate New York.


John Adams' Shaker Loops featured in the upcoming Murder & Redemption concert program is nowadays regarded as a landmark in American music - and rather fittingly as "murder for string players" by the program curator, Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto.  

It was named after the ecstatic frenzy of dancing performed by members of the almost extinct Shaker religious group. But it also references the rapidly moving bow technique of the strings used to play the piece – oscillating between one note to the next and back again.

Pekka Kuusisto considers the physical demands of playing Shaker Loops akin to “lifting something really heavy.” Hear from Pekka himself on what it takes to perform this intense and mesmerising landmark work.




MURDER & REDEMPTION
2 - 14 February 2017
Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney.

ARTISTS
Pekka Kuusisto
 Director & Violin
Sam Amidon Voice & Banjo

PROGRAM

TRAD. (arr. Muhly) Kedron
JANÁČEK (arr. strings) String Quartet No.1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’: I. Adagio con moto
TRAD. (arr. Muhly) Way Go Lily
JANÁČEK (arr. strings) String Quartet No.1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’: II. Con moto
TRAD. (arr. Muhly) Wild Bill Jones
JANÁČEK (arr. strings) String Quartet No.1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’: III. Con moto – Vivace – Andante – Tempo I
TRAD. (arr. Muhly) How Come That Blood
JANÁČEK (arr. strings) String Quartet No.1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’: IV. Con moto
TRAD. The Redemption Set
ADAMS, John Shaker Loops: I. Shaking and trembling
BRACKETT Traditional Shaker hymn: Simple Gifts
ADAMS, John Shaker Loops: II. Hymning slews, III. Loops and verses, IV. A final shaking

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