Behind the Crumb Madrigals Project

Monday, February 27, 2012

Due East is thrilled to be joining Duo Borealis and harpist, Jacqui Kerrod, to mount this multi-media production of George Crumb's Madrigals with video artist Bart Woodstrup. We gathered together in early January in our cozy Bronx apartment to begin working on the music. Everyone sounds fantastic and there is a lot of natural chemistry between the ensemble. Erin was at the center of the network, as she had worked with Evan in Carnegie's Academy program and with Jacqui in a "Debussy" trio. In just days we were able to take successful first passes at all four books. It was a joy.

Our video artist, Bart Woodstrup, is a colleague of mine here at Northern Illinois University and we applied for and received an inaugural internal grant specifically geared for this sort of multi-media collaborative project. We have used our funds to purchase three matching video projectors and a video card that allows these projectors to be controlled by one computer. Bart has been steadfastly developing content that lends color and added depth to the poetic language of Garcia Lorca, whose poetry runs throughout Crumb's cycle.  

Furthermore Bart and I have begun developing materials to build portable video screens to take on tour with us. This will allow us to create a three-dimensional video environment for the work; rather than only projecting on a singular flat surface behind and above the stage, as is typically the case with multi-media musical productions. Ideas in this regard are still nascent and "in progress" and we are thrilled at the idea of taking a week in mid-March at Yellow Barn to flush out logistics and meld it into our interpretive take on these haunting yet starkly beautiful works.

A big shout out to Seth Knopp, Catherine Stephan and the rest of Team Yellow Barn for making this upcoming residency possible! We are so thankful to have the opportunity and cannot wait to put poetry in motion. We hope you'll consider joining us on Saturday, March 24th, for our first performance of this project. It promises to be unique and beautiful.

Signing out,


Yellow Barn's 2012 Summer Artwork

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nancy Storrow,  Some Songs (pastel & gouache, 2009-10)

I usually listen to music when I work. I feel there is an underlying relationship between my drawing and music. In the drawing Some Songs there is movement, a rhythm to the lines and the notes of a story. The overlay of gouache repeats the circular shapes.

—Nancy Storrow

About Nancy Storrow

Nancy Storrow lives in Putney, Vermont. She is represented by A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY where she has had nine solo exhibitions. Her work has been exhibited throughout the US, as well as in group exhibitions in Hungary and Sweden. Recent solo exhibitions include Dianich Gallery, Brattleboro, VT; A.I.R. Gallery; Brattleboro Museum & Art Center; The Steinhardt Gallery of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden; and the group exhibition Linear Abstraction at The Hebrew Home, Riverdale, NY. Her work will be included in a new exhibition at A.I.R. Gallery in June 2012.

Storrow is involved with local environmental and arts organizations in Vermont and she serves on the board of The In-Sight Photography Project in Brattleboro. In addition she has volunteered eleven times at Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where she works in the Public Relations Department.

WGBH features Yellow Barn

Sunday, February 12, 2012

As part of its survey of summer festivals in New England, WGBH provides an in-depth look at Yellow Barn:

Experiments In Chamber Music At Vermont's Yellow Barn

This week on Classical New England's music festival travelogue, we take you to secluded Putney, Vermont, for a helping of programs at the prestigious Yellow Barn, a cooperative institute for chamber musicians.

The Yellow Barn festival is really a seven-week summer season, which, for 2012, runs from June 17 to August 4. This reputed destination for chamber music aficionados, started in 1969, primarily exists as a place for seasoned musicians to expand their skills and for conservatory students to learn from the masters. But fortunately for the public, this process involves a varietty of performances.

Every summer, musicians descend on this small southern Vermont location for a host of programs: they work with local schools, participate in masterclasses, and offer interactive presentations to the community.

And, yes, performances are held in a barn, among other locations around Putney. There have been more than one of these barns over the years, but the present "Big Barn" is a warm and intimate environment for a concert.

Read more, view photos, and listen to an interview with Seth Knopp.

Dancer on a Tightrope video

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In 2009 Yellow Barn commissioned a production of Sofia Gubaidulina's Dancer on a Tightrope in collaboration with Sandglass Theater, a frequent Yellow Barn partner, to honor John Burt, Yellow Barn's 2009 Scholarship Benefit honoree. One year later Yellow Barn and Sandglass Theater reunited to videotape the production.

This collaboration was made possible with the generous support of the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, the Fresh Sound Foundation's Trustee Discretionary Fund, and neighbors in the Friendship Loop in Putney, VT.

Violaine Melançon, violin
Seth Knopp, piano
Puppet by Ines Zeller Bass
Performed by Ines Zeller Bass, Jana Zeller, and Eric Bass
Staged by Eric Bass

Yellow Barn CDs: The Wells Duo in Recital

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This early recital by beloved Yellow Barn founders David and Janet Wells includes works by Bach, Beethoven, and Barber. All proceeds benefit the annual David Wells Scholarship at Yellow Barn.

Price: $15
To purchase, call Yellow Barn at (802) 387-6637, or send an email to

Exploring the Beethoven Quartets at Yellow Barn

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dear Seth and Friends at Yellow Barn,

On behalf of the Jupiter Quartet, I wanted to thank you and share our thoughts on our wonderful “winter residency” experience in Putney.  

When the Aspen Music Festival asked us to perform our first Beethoven cycle, it was a project that, in a way, we had been preparing for since our first notes of Op. 131 ten years ago as a quartet at Yellow Barn. But even with a decade of rehearsals under our belts, seeing those six concerts on our calendar often felt like staring up at Mt. Everest from sea level. Having now made it down from this climb, I wanted you to know just how absolutely critical our two residencies in Putney were in helping us achieve this goal.   

During our residency, the studio with which we were provided was lovely and greatly enhanced our rehearsal process. It is amazing how a simple change of scenery, from our usual space in downtown Jamaica Plain to the beautiful hills of Vermont, had such a positive effect on rehearsal - Nature and Yellow Barn working magic together, I suppose.

Another benefit was the opportunity to play for other musicians and get their feedback. I recently read an article by Atul Gawande, a physician and frequent New Yorker contributor,  about the importance of coaching among professionals. The author’s emphasis on conversation and feedback seems relevant to our field, and indeed we found the fresh ideas of Mark Steinberg and Roger Tapping to be a wonderful boost to our creative process.

The many performance opportiunities were also crucial. There is no better teaching tool than getting up on stage and, afterwards, having the ability to listen back and critique a high-quality recording. The next day, these recordings helped us focus our rehearsal process in our idyllic studio.

I can’t imagine the next time we play these sixteen Beethoven quartets the preparation will be any easier. Likely, it will feel again that our starting elevation is near zero. But I take a lot of comfort in knowing that there is a special place committed to providing resources, love, and support for musicians to achieve their goals.

Best Wishes,

Daniel McDonough and the Jupiter String Quartet