CounterPoint is a groundbreaking new conductorless string chamber orchestra that will revitalize the typical classical music concert by transforming it into a concert experience and bring relevance to repertoire spanning centuries and continents. Within a few months of our founding, we have already collaborated with a National Geographic photographer, a painter, a tabla player and a woman singing traditional Pakistani ghazal. We have raised a substantial amount of money for flood victims in Pakistan and are scheduled to use our experiences to raise money for research in colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease within the next few months. The project that we are proposing currently is based on the conceptual themes of 20th century Minimalism and pop art and the guerrilla spirit that have been realized by artists such as Andy Warhol. While the techniques and conceptual spirit employed by Warhol and other Minimalists were revolutionary and groundbreaking at the time of their inception, many of the materials used to create these new works were very old, employing paint, canvas, screening. The spontaneous punk spirit of re-purposing materials and techniques for new and fresh interpretations that subvert the status quo have become even more relevant in today’s age of cultural regurgitating, repackaging, fusion, mashup, and deconstruction. CounterPoint will highlight this concept by performing in one or many museums in Washington DC among the collections of minimalist painting and sculpture by performing works ranging from ancient to contemporary. What will truly make this event “awesome” will be the manner in which we will carry out the performance. We will station musicians scattered among pop and minimalist works of art, sometimes playing independently, sometimes in unison. At times museum-goers will go from a room in which music of the 17th century is performed to a room filled with the dissonant strains of the 20th and 21st century. The music will phase, just as many minimalist visual works of art present repeating content appearing all to be the same but upon closer inspection, is constantly varying. Musicians will be dressed in attire either reflecting or contrasting with their surrounding works of art. This guerilla event will begin spontaneously with musicians taking their places gradually without alerting the public as to what is happening. In this way, we will subvert the traditional image of what people expect from a concert and a visit to the museum.
Funded by Washington, DC (December 2011)