Miller Theatre opened its 2015-16 Season with Run Time Error, a mind-blowing multimedia spectacle that utilized whammy pedals, joysticks, prepared bows, and Miller Theatre itself as music-makers. Justin Davidson of New York Magazine and Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim of The New York Times had the following to say about the energetic evening:
From New York Magazine:
"Steen-Andersen is the rare contemporary composer who makes music with a sense of humor — slaps it together, really, out of rough, unsanded sounds and visual gags. He has a bit of John Cage’s impishness, and a similar disregard for harmoniousness and polished timbres. But unlike Cage, he leaves little to chance. Steen-Andersen doesn’t even try to beguile the ear as inventively as he dazzles the eye. Instead, he’s a perfectionist choreographer, whose work depends on bug-free software, high-precision mayhem, and the fearless virtuosity that the JACK Quartet was happy to provide."
"Music Review: The ‘Deadpan Lunacy’ of Simon Steen-Andersen at Miller Theate" by Justin Davidson. New York Magazine. Published September 22, 2015.
From The New York Times:
"The quartet’s performance of extracts from Schumann’s String Quartet No. 3 was part of 'Run Time Error,' a dazzlingly off-the-wall evening of music, video and performance art by the visionary Danish composer Simon Steen-Andersen. His writing for strings questions every convention of the genre: A player might run the bow alongside the wooden shoulder of a violin or drag it up and down the fingerboard. Another may hold a cello sideways, like a guitar, then sideways in the other direction, then flip it upside down so that it rests on its scroll."
"If the Navy SEALs were developing a special-operations chamber music team, the training might resemble this."
"Review: The JACK Quartet, With Instruments of Destruction" by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim. The New York Times. Published September 18, 2015.