The End of Lunacy

Well, the Criers can take a deep breath. One-third of Season 3 is in the books, and I think we are all looking forward to a couple days of recovery. Out biggest audiences yet seemed to really take to what was, musically, one of our "crunchiest" programs ever. Christopher Hossfeld's concerto GROSSO received a well-deserved standing ovation for its Jordan Hall world premiere. An incredibly diverse crowd very nearly filled the church at our first Saturday-afternoon Jamaica Plain family-and-community concert - and lept to its feet after the INTENSE Schnittke. I love Beethoven symphonies as much as anyone on Earth, and who knows - maybe some day A Far Cry will do the BSO thing and perform the cycle self-conducted. But the one thing that I became absolutely convinced of this weekend, is that there's more than one way to generate excitement and attendance at classical music concerts. Warhorses are great, but people also want to be moved, and be moved by new, previously-undreamed-of experiences. As artists, the highest compliment that A Far Cry can receive is that we moved our listeners, and I was humbled and ecstatic to receive that compliment a number of times this weekend.

But enough from me - A Far Cry wants to hear from YOU. Were you at the concert(s)? Were you moved? Not moved? Almost-moved-but-with-thoughts-as-to-what-really-would-have-made-it-better? Leave a comment to this post, good or bad. Happy Crying!

Eichler Weighs In

The Boston Globe's Jeremy Eichler was kind enough to attend and review our Friday night concert at St. Paul's Church in Brookline - our first Globe review! If you read today's Globe and are visiting us for the first time, welcome. Please poke around our website - there are many hidden treasures. Tickets for our May 21 return to Jordan Hall are on sale now, but in the mean time you can hear (and see) A Far Cry in action via our channel on YouTube and a audio slideshow. "Conductorless and fancy-free, a chamber orchestra takes flight"

Survey Responses

At our concerts this past weekend, we asked audience members to fill out feedback surveys. We're just beginning to sort through all of the great ideas and information, but I wanted to share one particularly cool use of technology. One of the questions was simply "What did you think of the concert?" - I took all of the responses and fed them into a tag cloud generator, which essentially summarizes the responses by setting the most commonly-occuring words in different sizes and colors, depending on how common. Check it out:

created at

What did YOU think of the concert?

Essence in Print

strubgs-logo.gifThe Criers returned from our Vermont retreat yesterday, energized and excited by our meeting discussions, well-cared for thanks to May Bigelow's incredible hospitality, and nourished thanks to fantastic meals prepared by Far Cry Chefs Fisher, Irons, Shaw and Stohs - all true artists! We arrived in the Boston area, eager to find the March 2009 edition of Strings Magazine and read our first Strings feature article. After a few thwarted attempts at finding a copy of the magazine, we finally got ahold of the magazine this morning and devoured David Templeton's article with delight. It beautifully captures the spirit of A Far Cry, from our commitment to each other and the music to our love of laughter. My favorite quote from the article is the description of our sound: "...a lush, sweet sound that is achingly alive and emotional." Thanks to David Templeton and Strings Magazine for this article

Welcome, Strings Readers!

We just heard that Strings Magazine is featuring A Far Cry on their last-page "encore" section this month. If you are a Strings Magazine reader and this is your first visit to A Far Cry, welcome! Please take a look around, leave a comment on the blog to say hi, and check out our youtube videos. Upcoming concerts are listed on the "Concerts" page, which also has a link to "Touring" for our out-of-Boston concerts. We look forward to meeting you! Read the article (pdf link)

Finishing up "Fabric"

We just played three concerts in three days - first, our Jamaica Plain debut at the English High School was a great event. Representatives from The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) and Bikes Not Bombs spoke eloquently and passionately about their organizations, and A Far Cry donated 100% of ticket revenue to the two wonderful area non-profits. Next, we returned to Pickman Hall at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge. A wonderful acoustic and an enthusiastic audience greeted A Far Cry, as we were joined by clarinetist David Singer in concert for the first time. We performed Copland's Clarinet Concerto again yesterday at St. Paul's Church in Brookline, and it is really cooking! Which is a good thing, since David and A Far Cry are bringing the Copland to the recording studio later today to finish up a CD of clarinet concertos. Robert Aldridge's Clarinet Concerto, a world premiere recording of a piece written specifically for David Singer, is already "in the can"!

Did you hear A Far Cry over the last couple of days? Please leave a comment to let us know what you thought!