Welcome to the official blog of the Highstrung String Quartet!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Evolution of a Concert Poster

Our lives are inundated with advertising. Very few people realize how much thought goes into making them --until they see a bad one. This is a post to show you how we go from awful to presentable.

I started out with a two color idea using a landscape page. the foreground text would be emphasized by the picture in the background and the brown border would match the theme we had on our website and blog. After setting up the layout, I sent the poster to Eric so he could add the concert information. Here is our first draft:

I hated it. In a frantic rescue attempt, I brought the background into focus and moved the “In Concert” so it had a little something more than all caps. The brown border went to black and a foreground picture of us added a softer color. The result:

After these adjustments, I slumped over my keyboard and thought this might be the worst poster ever. The main problem is that it looks like the content was shaken up and spilled onto the page. There’s far too much white space, the website (justified center) looks goofy and there is an ugly white box around the logo that clashes with the grey background. The blue picture…well let’s just say it doesn’t fit. At the end of the day, it looks like John Cage went into advertising.

So, back to the drawing board. The page went portrait the background image became the foreground image and the content went to the bottom of the page where our logo and website rested more professionally.

Much better. I showed it to Josh who said he’d also like a color version:

Now we’ll just replace the concert information on each poster so it is event-specific and send it to our concert organizers.

So the poster is done! That’s a big check on our to-do list. Feel free to pass these posters (the last two) onto your friends and family. You can download the .PDF versions at our website. We’d love to see you there!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Snazzy New Site


Welcome to our new look! We changed the template to match our website. We also added "e-mail this post" and RSS options. Let us know what you think!

-David the Violist

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Photo Shoot

On Monday morning we went on a quartet photo shoot with our fabulous photographer, Jocelyn Edlin. This is a huge item off the check-off-list for us! We have been needing updated pictures for the website as well as for our posters and flyers for the upcoming tour. Now we have them!

Jocelyn came over to our house at 11 a.m. and we talked about what kind of looks we were wanting for the pictures. After going back and forth for a little while we decided to go down to the water front by OMSI. Jocelyn said she had some cool ideas for us down there. This was a gross understatement. The pictures she took are beyond cool! They are fantastic! (I know I'm not a photographer, but I think these are definitely pieces of art. And I'm not just saying that because I'm in most of them either!)

That pile of rocks has never been that good-looking before this picture was taken.

How cool is that?

We decided that pictures on the railroad tracks would be sweet. So we walked over there, and took some, all the while joking about how trains never come down this particular set of tracks. Then, Jocelyn got this idea for some pictures in front of a building next to the tracks. So we're setting up the shots and we hear a train coming. David says, "Wouldn't it be cool to have a picture of us with the train in the background?" This is what we got:

This is David proving that he too is a "Ninja Violist"!

What a cool picture of the Burnside bridge! =)

All in all, a successful photo shoot. Now to make the fliers and programs. We will prayerfully have those done by the end of the week. I would like to give a big thank you to Jocelyn for her fantastic work for the quartet and also say that of you are looking for a photographer you should check out her website: http://www.jocelynelise.com/jocelyn.elise/home.html

More concert announcements coming soon! - The Cellist

Friday, November 14, 2008

Concert Announcement!!

Here is the first concert announcement of the season! The Highstrung String Quartet will be performing the premiere of David Martin's String Quartet No. 1 on December 16th. David Martin is a fabulous local composer who we have known for many years. This concert will feature pieces and songs for piano, voice, and string quartet all written by David Martin. I have attached the flyer below with all the information you will need. This is going to be a great concert! (it just must be if we are preforming on it, right?!?) We hope to see you there!

If you wish to read the flyer just click on it. =)

We have more concert announcements coming very soon!

Have any questions? Let me know! - The Cellist

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Step 3: Learning the music

Now we come to the hardest part of our journey. Learning the music. It is easy to pick out great music, buy the music, photocopy the music, and put it all in a notebook. It is a whole other ball game to learn that music.

We first start by just sitting down and reading the music through. This way we ll get an idea of which areas in our own parts need work and which parts are going to need to be practiced with the whole group.

When I use the word “learn” I don't simply mean know all the notes. The notes are the easy part! What I mean is to understand the story or spirit of the piece which we are trying to convey to you our audience. This is called the “musical interpretation” of the piece and it takes a lot of careful study and hard work. This part of the learning experience is constant and continues even as we preform in front of you. I'm sure We will be talking more about this part of learn in later posts.

Besides notes and interpretation there is articulation. That is, how each note is to sound. We spend many hours discussing and trying new articulation sounds. This is mostly fun and easy-ish but can become tedious quickly if you have to get your violist to match you or really anyone or anything.

There is so much more to share about the learning process but I want to save some stuff for later posts. This is just the beginning of a very long journey for the quartet. We will be posting stories and videos of our progress so you can follow along.

Below is a video of our second read through of the fourth movement to Haydn's String quartet Op. 74 No. 3. Everything within me screams not to post this because it is......well, it's just awful. And I'm not just talking about how we look! We sound bad too! And the online video quality isn't that good either! However, I really want you to be able to see the progress or at least pretend that we get better with time. =)