ELCO Remixes the Classical Genre

KST spoke Heidi Baldt Matthews of the musical group Eclectic Laboratory Chambers Orchestra (ELCO) about their upcoming performance “Remix” a fusion of classical training and modern- technology, Remix incorporates electronics and technology to the remove the barriers of genre and expand the repertoire of modern and classical music.


KST: What inspired you to create this performance?

HBM:  I came home from work some day and David [Matthews] had a 5 page proposal of a group he wanted to start. The proposal grew to become ELCO, a group which removes the idea of genre in music.  We present good music as good music and enjoy the intrinsic artistic value of music.

KST: How long have you been ELCO?

HM:  David came up with the proposal in the spring of 2008. We posted a call for musicians and had an overwhelming response. Now, we have a core group of 15 and continue to grow with inquiries from musicians who attend our performances.  We performed our first concert in 2008.

KST:  What do you want or think the audience will gain from this performance?

HM:  Some programs are intentionally challenging like a program we presented with the music of John Cage. This concert will incorporate electronic technology and the work of a DJ. An audience member once told me, “I understand why it’s important and why you’re doing it but I don’t like it”. We try to take things that are new and unfamiliar or old and unfamiliar and present them to an audience so they can enjoy or appreciate.

KST: Are you using any music, props, set pieces, or special lighting and if so how will it enhance this work?

HM:  We typically have not had enough space to have a set, but we’ve worked with art students in the past who made that possible. We’re excited to work in this space with a VJ or DJ.

KST:  Where did the inspiration for the title come from and why is it significant?

HM:  We are interested in incorporating the use of technology and electronics. With such a large group wandering from place to place we’re really interested in incorporating electronics. We present work in a new fashion like a remix on its own.

KST: How does this piece vary from others you’ve worked on?

HM:  The key component is the technology. We’d also like to work with dancers which we’ve done in the past but not as extensively.

KST:  Why is this particular performance relevant?

HM:  We’re an orchestra that’s able to work with new technology, there are no barriers.

KST:  What inspired you to pursue this genre of performing arts?

HM:  We felt it wasn’t being done in the area. David wanted me to start a theater company but I felt there was something else to be done. We simply took pieces from what our community was already doing.

ELCO performs “Remix” on August 5 at 11AM & 8PM.

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