The girlfriends convinced me to sit through an evening with Kronos Quartet. I didn't mind at all because the quartet's repertoire is anything but classical. They do folk, jazz, film soundtracks, poetry accompaniment, progressive rock, electronica and experimental. They work with contemporary composers to create original works, pushing the boundaries of what chamber music could be, and redefining what is assumed.
I listen to them on and off, but never really followed their compositions and collaborations. The quartet tends to play in odd time signatures, and that's really intriguing to me. Founded by violinist David Harrington in Seattle in 1973 and have been based in San Francisco ever since. The quartet's current members are John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola) and Sunny Yang (cello). The cellist keeps changing; Sunny Yang has been around since 2013.
I missed the Kronos Quartet's earlier performance at SIFA- 'My Lai' with tenor Rinde Eckert and Vietnamese multi-instrumental artist Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ. (The show is based on the 1968 massacre of Vietnamese villagers by American soldiers.) That was more of an accompaniment to an important story told on stage. Tonight, it was just the Kronos Quartet in concert. Of the 11 works presented, they played a number of pieces from their 'Fifty for the Future' project. I was completely unfamiliar with the two-hour program. It was honestly rather refreshing to sit down and simply enjoy the music without knowing the titles or background to those pieces. There's always Google, but later. The only reason I know the titles is because of the printed program, and the girlfriends' whispered comments since they're the bigger fans.