CHICAGO'S CONDUCTORLESS ORCHESTRA

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Unsupervised Launch

On Sunday, May 20, Unsupervised joined the Chicago music community with our first performance. After months of planning and weeks of rehearsal, we collected nearly 20 musicians together at Fulton Street Collective for some exceptional performances of large chamber works.

Located in Chicago's West Town neighborhood, Fulton Street Collective is a multi-disciplinary artist community with private studio spaces and a variety of public programs and performances, and their beautiful, third floor, high-ceilinged brick loft was home to Unsupervised's Launch.

The program began with Maurice Ravel's Introduction and Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet, and string quartet. It is a beautiful, sweeping impressionist work that features the harp (played by Autumn Selover) in an impressive solo role. Clarinetist Rodrigo Orviz and flutist Christy Kim and string players Tara Lynn Ramsey (violin), Rachel White (violin), Hanna Pedersen (viola), and Kelly Quesada (cello) combined their instruments to create astonishing colors.

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Community is at the heart of Unsupervised, both creating community within the ensemble and joining the larger community of Chicago. For a lunch program, we chose a piece by a Chicago composer, Kyong Mee Choi. Her contemporary and avant-garde work Reflective Layers illustrates the artistic technique of scraping away layers of paint to create an image. Kyong Mee joined us in our rehearsals to coach us and to help us make choices over how the piece should sound.

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The last piece on the program was one of Beethoven's most popular works, his Septet, op. 20. Rehearsals for this masterpiece were lively; as soon as the music came to a stop, the room erupted in conversation as all the musicians began discussing which melodies and counter-melodies to bring out, how the various parts complemented each other. This deliberation was evident in the dynamic and nuanced performance at Fulton Street Collective.

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We were so grateful to have such a large and wonderful audience for our launch, and we enjoyed after getting to know everyone after the performances. We are already planning our next concert in October, which will feature a full camber orchestra, so check back on our website for more and follow us on Facebook.

Want to see more of our Launch Performances? Check out photos and videos from the night here.

Daniel Meyers