Spektral Quartet presents world premiere ENIGMA
with the Adler Planetarium, June 11 & 12, 2020
New multimedia work for string quartet includes 360-degree video experience in Adler’s Grainger Sky Theater
Multi-Grammy nominees the Spektral Quartet present the world premiere of a groundbreaking new multimedia work, ENIGMA, in partnership with the Adler Planetarium on June 11 and 12, 2020. The live music and 360-degree video experience was created for the string quartet by Icelandic artists Anna Thorvaldsdottir (composer) and Sigurdur Gudjonsson (video artist). Following its world premiere in the Adler’s Grainger Sky Theater, ENIGMA will tour to other dome theaters throughout the country and internationally. For more information, visit spektralquartet.com/enigma.
ENIGMA was inspired in part by the 2017 solar eclipse. Created for an immersive, full-dome theater experience, Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s enchanting and beautifully disorienting sounds take on an even more vivid hue through Sigurdur Gudjonsson’s evocative imagery—expanding a fragment seen through an electron microscope into a massive 360-degree video, exploring scale and perception as well as the concept of the in-between.
Tickets for the world premiere of Spektral Quartet’s ENIGMA at the Adler Planetarium (1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago) will go on sale to the public in April. Public performances are Thursday, June 11 at 7 p.m. and Friday, June 12 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. For more information, visit spektralquartet.com/enigma.
ENIGMA is presented in partnership with the Adler Planetarium and is co co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Washington Performing Arts and Spektral Quartet NFP. Major support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation and mediaThe foundation inc.
Recipient of the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists and the New York Philharmonic Kravis Emerging Composer Award, Anna Thorvaldsdottír is a composer who frequently works with large sonic structures that tend to reveal the presence of a vast variety of sustained sound materials, reflecting her sense of imaginative listening to landscapes and nature. Her music tends to portray a flowing world of sounds with an enigmatic lyrical atmosphere. Anna’s music is frequently performed internationally, and has been featured at several major venues and music festivals such as Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival in NYC, the Composer Portraits Series at NYC's Miller Theatre, ISCM World Music Days, Nordic Music Days, Ultima Festival, Klangspuren Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Reykjavik Arts Festival, Tectonics, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Her works have been nominated and awarded on many occasions - most notably, Anna is the recipient of the prestigious Nordic Council Music Prize 2012 for her work Dreaming.
Sigurdur Gudjonsson has been selected to represent Iceland at the 59th Venice Bienniale, to be held in 2021. He studied in Vienna, Reykjavík, and Copenhagen, starting his exhibition career at the turn of the century in the artist-run experimental scene in Reykjavík that has fostered new art in temporary venues all over the old city. His dark and moody videos immediately set him apart and attracted attention not only in Iceland but also in Berlin, New York, London, Beijing, Seoul, and wherever they were exhibited. He mostly uses video but in many ways his work could as easily be classed as music. He exploits the potential of time-based media to produce pieces that rhythmically engage the viewer in a synesthetic experience, linking vision and hearing in ways that seem to extend one’s perceptual field and produce sensations never felt before. Usually slow and often repetitive, his pieces draw you in and gradually start to expand, creating complex loops and rhythmic schemes that can almost overwhelm the senses. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, in such institutions as the National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik Art Museum, Hafnarborg, Iceland, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany, Arario Gallery, Beijing, Liverpool Biennial, Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway, Safn Reykjavík, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Kling & Bang Gallery and Bergen Kunsthall Norway.
About the Spektral Quartet
Multi-Grammy nominees the Spektral Quartet actively pursues a vivid conversation between exhilarating works of the traditional repertoire and those written this decade, this year, or this week. Since its inception in 2010, Spektral is known for creating seamless connections across centuries, drawing in the listener with charismatic deliveries, interactive concert formats, an up-close atmosphere, and bold, inquisitive programming.
With a tour schedule including some of the country’s most notable concert venues such as the Kennedy Center, Miller Theater, Library of Congress, and NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, the quartet also takes great pride in its home city of Chicago: championing the work of local composers, bridging social and aesthetic partitions, and cultivating its ongoing residency at the University of Chicago.
Named “Chicagoans of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune in 2017, Spektral Quartet is most highly regarded for its creative and stylistic versatility: presenting seasons in which, for instance, a thematic program circling Beethoven seamlessly coexists with an improvised sonic meditation at sunrise, a talent show featuring Spektral fans, and the co-release of a jazz album traversing the folk traditions of Puerto Rico.
About the Adler Planetarium
The Adler Planetarium connects people to the universe and each other. Whether it is introducing a guest to the Ring Nebula, a neighborhood school to a community partner, a research team to a network of citizen scientists, or one staff member to another, the Adler’s focus on meaningful connections dates back nearly a century.
Today, the museum hosts more than half a million visitors each year and reaches millions more through youth STEAM programs, neighborhood skywatching events, online citizen science, and other outreach projects. With the Adler’s support, people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities gain the confidence to explore their universe together and return to their communities ready to think critically and creatively about any challenge that comes their way.