In the innovative video feature, Inside the Kronos Quartet, which has been nominated for a News & Documentary Emmy Award in the “New Approaches: Arts, Lifestyle, Culture” category, the musicians surround themselves with sensors that turned their movements into data and renders the players as kind of “dot clouds” who appear and disappear according to their individual participation in the music.
The 4 minute film features David Harrington, John Sherba, violinists; Hank Dutt, violist; and Sunny Yang, cellist in a masterful visual display that aims to show the special mystery of how a quartet communicates.
They played and then talked their way through two very different pieces, “Canção Verdes Anos” by Carlos Paredes (arranged by Osvaldo Golijov) and “Aheym” by Bryce Dessner. In their commentary about the lilting, sinewy Paredes work, the quartet members talk about the essential nature of quartet playing.
“Virtually any composer that we’ve encountered has said that the string quartet is the most personal and expressive medium that they know of.” David Harrington, Artistic Director and Founder of Kronos
The musicians also dig deeper into the essence of how quartets work — cueing, body language, establishing rhythms — as they play the segment on “Aheym,” a propulsive and sometimes manic piece in 11 short sections, marked A through K.