Four time Grammy winning classical music group Eighth Blackbird took the stage at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Performing Arts on April 21. The innovative sextet captured the attention of the audience in their rendition of “Hand Eye.” Eighth Blackbird has entertained audiences throughout the world for over 20 years. Their “Hand Eye” performance is inspired by the “Sleeping Giant” collection. Sleeping Giant is a group of six young up and coming composers who are slowly gaining fame based on their diverse music. In addition to utilizing Sleeping Giant as a source of inspiration, Eighth Blackbird also uses a variety of skills in their performance such as delicacy, intricacy and artistry. Eighth Blackbird was able to successfully captivate the hearts of the audience.
“I love all of the unique aspects that the group brings and it’s easy to get lost in my own thoughts during their pieces,” said Matthew Mark ‘18. “The musicians play so well together and sometimes it even sounds more like modern than classical music.”
The six musicians demonstrated impeccable communication skills throughout their performance. Whether it was body movement, eye contact or facial expression, all members of the group were able to remain synchronized and worked flawlessly as one unit.
Senior Abby Wells said, “I love their dynamics and communication amongst each other. It’s almost like they can anticipate what actions the group members are going to do during the performance.”
In addition to having an interesting stage presence and clear confidence, Eighth Blackbird also composed pieces inspired by each musician’s personal experiences and observations. Their piece “Conduit” was inspired by modern technologies and computational functions such as copy, paste, touch and send. By incorporating various tempos and utilizing both loud and soft qualities of the instruments, the group was able to bring technological inspiration to life in an artistic way.
Another piece that interested audience members was, “Mine, Mime, Meme,” a piece that carried a repeat-after-me quality. The piece started with the cello player, followed by the other musicians in a distinct order that mimicked the tone and tempo of what the cello player originally played. As the piece continued, the other musicians seemed as though they were able to better predict what the cellist would play and their music became faster, louder and more confident.
Eighth Blackbird also attracted audience members who wouldn’t typically attend a classical music performance, such as Tyler Moragas ‘19, who prefers genres such as country, pop and rap. Due to their unique artistry and compositions, the classical group made audience members interested in their work.
Moragas said, “They are definitely a unique group that played a different style than what I would usually listen to, but their music sounds like it would be in a silent movie and immediately started making me think of movements that would go with it.”
While taking inspiration from a variety of resources throughout the world, Eighth Blackbird is able to compose music that is appealing to audience members of all ages and attracts music listeners of all genres. Their uniqueness and active artistry allowed them to engage listeners and added emotional connectivity to their music. The successful performance resonated with members of the Fairfield community due to their musicians clear passion and emotional relation to their work.
CORRECTION: In the April 27 issue of The Mirror, the story “Eighth Blackbird graces Fairfield with song” falsely reported that Sleeping Giant was an American Christian metal band, however, Sleeping Giant is in fact a group of six young up and coming composers who are slowly gaining fame based on their diverse music.