Video of the Day: Kronos Quartet and the Melodic Shape-Shifting of Pamela Z

Categories: Music
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Jay Blakesberg
Kronos Quartet

By Sam Prestianni

One-of-a-kind string ensemble Kronos Quartet celebrates the global infusion of San Francisco culture in Listen Local, a program of dynamic new works by the city's top composers, including Nathaniel Stookey, Dan Becker, Stephen Prutsman, and notably, Pamela Z, a fearless vocalist and electronics explorer whose piece "And the Movement of the Tongue" promises to be a highlight of this extraordinary homegrown show.

Like all singers, Z is interested in the voice as music-making instrument, but unlike, say, the American Idols, this world-renowned multimedia artist is often less focused on singing than stripping language down to its roots, i.e. sound. She sees everyday speech -- syntax, phrasing, vocabulary -- as a treasure of sonority and texture. In her latest composition, she pairs the spoken-word nuances of folks she interviewed on the street with Kronos' borderless approach to string slinging. Expect to hear melodic shape-shifting, both mundane and out of this world.

Listen Local starts Feb. 22 at 8 p.m.at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, S.F. Admission is $20-$35.


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