By Aaron Cush Solberg, musician and composer
About 4 years ago, I was sitting with my dear friend, Paul Walter, in an old farmhouse nestled deep in the woods in upstate New York. As we sipped our iced tea, I turned to him and said, “You see that barn? We should do a concert in there.” His response was, “Well we would have to move all the firewood.” Me, being an ambitious young lad of 16 – well, all right more of a very lazy lad of 16 - I said, “Leave it. It will be more rustic.” And indeed we did. In that old barn, we had concerts for the next two years with great success.
About a year ago, a new friend entered my life: Father Alex, a young, newly ordained priest from Switzerland, and newly installed at the ICCC. One evening, after I had done what many would say was the impossible - two whole days in complete silence - we sat together and I suggested a summer concert series in their newly finished building and so began the ‘Concert in the Barn Summer Chamber Series.’
The 2014 season began with ‘The Voices of Immigration’, performed by The String Quartet of Trouble. It included the world premiere of my string quartet, ‘Silence and Prayer,’ composed during my silent retreat. For the second concert, Bach Solo Works from High to Low, we chose work performed by a trio violin, viola and cello. The third and final concert of the series is fast approaching. ‘The Voices of the Baroque and Beyond’ will be performed by the The Sagad Trio with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Backofen.
As we prepare for that date, we turn our minds to the 2015 season and look forward to presenting another exciting series at the ICCC. Because on a beautiful summer’s afternoon, there is no better place to be than nestled deep in the upstate woods surrounded by the harmonies of music and the company of friends.