Mari Kimura: String Theater
May 20, 2011
Acclaimed composer and virtuoso violinist Mari Kimura thrilled the audience at the Bohemian National Hall on May 20, 2011. For this one-night-only concert, hosted by the Vilcek Foundation, Ms. Kimura performed a selection of classical and contemporary works, and introduced a number of her own compositions. A highlight of the evening was the premiere of her piece Duet X2, written for violin and cello. Accompanied by Grammy-nominated cellist Dave Eggar, the duo wore custom-fit sensory gloves to track their respective bowing motions, thus giving musical expression to the two bows as they interacted. Ms. Kimura also premiered a new method of the bowing technique she is credited with developing, called Subharmonics, which allows musicians to play a full octave below the low G on the violin without adjusting the tuning of the instrument. She demonstrated this method in a new composition written especially for the event. Titled JanMaricana for Subharmonics, the piece was dedicated to Jan and Marica Vilcek, founders of the Vilcek Foundation.
Ms. Kimura, whom the New York Times called “a virtuoso playing at the edge,” also performed a work entitled Voyage Apollonian, in which she again used interactive bowing, in this case to synchronize with an animation created by Ken Perlin, professor in the Department of Computer Science at New York University and winner of an Academy Award for Technical Achievement for his noise and turbulence techniques, widely used in films and television.
A native of Tokyo, Japan, Ms. Kimura was a 2010 Composer in Residence at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris, and is a 2010-2011 Guggenheim Fellow in Music Composition. Ms. Kimura currently teaches at the Juilliard School.
If you were unable to join us for this singular concert, we invite you to view photos and videos of the event by clicking here. And for more on Mari Kimura and her innovative approach to music, visit her website.