The Aspen String Trio

Student Responses

by the Aspen String Trio at University of Baltimore, 2011

…For the first time, I believe that I had a complete appreciation for the musician as an artist. In the past, even as a musician myself, I saw performers of music as vessels through which the art of the composer flowed... They gave me a brand new take on music. The individual musicians in that group became one… They could read each other, and were as comfortable adjusting to each other’s playing in the moment as they were in revealing the emotion that struck them while they played….
…My mom used to tell my brother and me to sit still when we went to concerts. “You’re not missing anything on stage if you can’t see,” she would say, “It’s about the music, not the people playing it.” Now I realize just what I’ve been missing for the last twenty years. Music is powerful to the aural sense, but it is just as strong visually when performed with passion. They performed with grace and a stunning liveliness….
Art in its final form is never really final, I’ve learned from yesterday’s experience. Art is constantly under revision. Each time a new set of eyes or ears witnesses a work, it changes. Art is at the mercy of its performers and its audiences, and, therefore, so is the artist.
…I truly enjoyed their performance and their love for music because the focus and passion in their eyes while they played their instruments was remarkable. I believe it was a great idea to write whatever came to my mind during the performance because it allowed me to free write to music. I felt as though I was writing a story that was guided by the tempo and beat of the songs.
…I found myself just wanting them to play so I could use their music to take me to a place of internal examination.
… They were walking inside the music, feeling “the walls for a light switch” and learning to “water ski across the surface” of the melody. It was as beautiful to watch as it was to listen to.
…I was inspired by the musicians’ dedication to their craft. There is not anything I practice 3 hours a day, every day. It has inspired me to re-evaluate how I spend my time and think about what I want to get really good at. I use to write everyday but have felt too busy to write on that consistency. But if it truly is a priority to me then I need to make more time.
They also inspired me to explore more classical music and also write to classical music more. I usually write to wordless music but it tends to be too contemporary bands like Sigur Ros, Amiina, Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky. I think that classic music be would a good change of pace…
…I am very much an “audio nerd.” I’ve got a huge collection of music and I own some stupidly expensive stereo equipment and headphones –Well, it’s funny, because as I listened to them, I could not help but think, “My God, this sounds so good, it’s like I’m really there at a live show – oh wait.” Of course I was at a live show. That’s why it sounded even more real than my ah-d5000. . . Hearing live music is almost always preferable!
… I could have sat there for a couple more hours. I have always enjoyed classical music and seeing it live for the first time made me really appreciate it.
I noticed how the different angles of the bow across the strings make a different sound. I never knew that, but when he showed us it was a big world of difference. I never knew the difference between major and minor. I like minor better now that I know what it is.
I want to see a whole orchestra now. Thanks for the opportunity to get to see live classical music.
The surprising thing about them was how they all came into playing their instruments from the beginning of their childhood and still are inspired to play such beautiful classical music. They inspired me to go see more classical music to open my horizon to new and better music and art.
…Watching the musicians and knowing how much skill is needed to replicate the pieces they were playing was incredibly captivating and inspiring. All of the music they performed had a lovely, melancholy feel to it, which is my favorite type of sound in music.
They asked whether music like Beethoven's would still be relevant today. I actually believe so, unlike some of the rest of the class. Other classmates only listen to Pop and Rap, which are very mainstream, take no talent to create, and take no effort to find... If you don't dig deeper, you'll never know what you are missing and will miss an opportunity to grow yourself as a person.
…Their interaction with our class was a fantastic experience. I never would have thought that I could learn so much about classical music in a two hour class period. The musicians discussed how classical music has a refined structure and takes into account how the composer felt when composing the piece. The interaction between the musicians and the students was awesome. I especially liked the enthusiasm of the group: they were really into their craft.

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