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Artist Spotlight: Sybarite5 and the Forward Festival. Donate Today!

By Twhite11. April 2014 07:35

Recently IHM artist Sybarite5 have launched a kickstarter to fund and the “Forward Festival” which the group bills as “The First Portable Chamber Music Festival”


Who is Sybarite5?

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Sybarite5 is a String Quintet that blends classical with contemporary (their influences range from Mozart to Radiohead). Currently based out of New York. A snippet from their bio goes more indepth:

“Their rock star status… is well deserved. Their classically honed technique mixed with grit and all out passionate attack transfixes the audience…” That is how The Sarasota Herald Tribune described SYBARITE5, the first string quintet ever selected as winners of Concert Artists Guild International Competition in its 60 year history.  Comprised of Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, violins; Angela Pickett, viola; Laura Metcalf, cello; and Louis Levitt, bass, SYBARITE5 has taken audiences by storm all across the US, forever changing the perception of chamber music performance.  From the moment their bows hit the strings, this quintet of talented, diverse musicians takes the audience on an exciting ride that engages the senses and redefines the rules.

From Mozart to Radiohead, SYBARITE5’s eclectic repertoire and dynamic performance style is turning heads throughout the music world: “[SYBARITE5] excelled at the exquisite…[playing] with relish, a sense of comfort, and a frisson of missionary zeal” (The Washington Post).  Their five-track EP disc, Disturb the Silence, features music by Radiohead and Piazzolla, plus two original works written for the quintet, and it made its debut at number 11 on Billboard’sClassical Crossover chart.”

Starting out with 5 shows in Sarasota, Florida, they seek to eventually expand the festival to other states and eventually the world. They successfully funded a previous tour via Kickstarter and raised over $10,000 to fund their last tour.

So what do they sound like?

To put it simply, amazing. Here’s a couple clips:

You can check out their entire discography on iTunes

How do I get involved?

You can help out by donating to their Kickstarter page. They have multiple tiers and rewards set up and the great thing about donating is that Sybarite5 is also registered as a 501c3 Nonprofit, meaning anything you can give is also tax deductible. Can’t help out financially? Spread the word! Every little bit helps to #MakeItCount! Follow Sybarite5 on Twitter and check out the Forward Festival website for the latest updates.

If you are a performing indie artist and you aren’t reporting your live venue sales to Soundscan, get started today! We make industry credibility accessible so you can #MakeItCount!

Concert Review, Bucknell University

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SYBARIT5 Concert Review: Classical vs. Radiohead??

April 10, 2014 / by  / 0 Comment

This past Friday, April 4th, I saw a seriously cool string quartet, called SYBARITE5.  The band has five members, Laura Metcalf (cello), Sarah Whitney (violin), Angela Pickett (viola), Louis Levitt (double bass), and Sami Merinian (violin).  While I have had little experience with live classical music, early into the performance, I learned this much: SYBARITE5 is not your typical classical string quartet.

This became abundantly apparent when Ms. Pickett joked between songs, “Have you heard of Radiohead?  Well, if not, I hope they’re your favorite band by the end of the night.”

For our readers unfamiliar with Radiohead, one could argue that the band writes music among the most stylistically alien to the traditional sounds of classical tunes.

My favorite piece from the night was a cover of Radiohead’s “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi,” off of their 2007 release, In Rainbows.  SYBARITE5 blew their mission to create a soundscape out of the water.  Simultaneous airy melodies floated freely through audience, wrapping listeners in a cocoon of awe. They used their bows not only to caress the strings of their instruments, but also to slap against their instruments, uniquely imitating the tight drumbeat in the original.

This quality of inventiveness rang true of the entire performance.  The group is young, and looks like they could just be friends who’ve recently graduated from college.  They seem to aim to challenge the conventions of classical music.  Almost like the opposite side of the coin moving towards electronic music.  SYBARITE5 pushes classical music in the same direction by playing Radiohead covers on instruments otherwise absent from that part of the music world.

Having been one of the few string ensembles I’ve experienced live, SYBARITE5 has made be eager to see what other varieties of classical tunes exist in the music world.  If SYBARITE5 can perform beautiful interpretations of the peculiar Radiohead, imagine what else might exist?  Maybe a classical version of Weezer’s album, Pinkerton?  (That actually exists, by the way.)

Learn more about SYBARITE5.

Sybarite5 Launches Forward Festival Kickstarter