Houston’s Windsync Quintet celebrate Abbey Road Studios at the 8th Wonder

The WindSync Wind Quintet

Photo: Courtesy of WindSync

The WindSync musicians will soon embark on their first trip to Europe to record a new album at Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles once were.

Before leaving, however, the famous wind quintet – made up of flutist Garrett Hudson, oboist Emily Tsai, bassoonist Kara LaMoure, horn player Anni Hochhalter and new recruit, clarinetist Graeme Steele Johnson – will meet with the Houston community under the gaze of creamy concrete. from the Fab Four to the 8th Wonder Brewery to celebrate this milestone in his career.

On September 29, the band will perform a farewell concert, titled ‘The Road to Abbey Road’, with the iconic 36-foot-tall statues of Britons on the Mop by local sculptor David Adickes providing a most fitting backdrop. On the program, an instrumental version of “Here Comes the Sun” in addition to arrangements of pieces by other artists linked to the legendary recording studio, from the late Edward Elgar to the English rock group Radiohead. It will also include a collection of three rhythmic works by Miguel del Aguila that the troupe will record at Studio Two in November, one of which is a brand new commission that the Uruguayan-born American composer wrote specifically for this collaborative project.

“This concert is about us sharing a moment of music with our family, friends and fans,” said LaMoure, seated at one of the bar’s picnic tables alongside the rest of the crew. and their instruments. “Once a note is played, it is in the ether. It’s finish. We created a moment, but when we go to record at Abbey Road, it’s potentially timeless. It’s almost like a keepsake of all that work, the relationships we’ve built, and our exploration of this music.

For these five artists, the album will live on as a kind of musical memory that carries within it the power to bring them back to that time in their upward trajectory. They now follow in the footsteps of many remarkable musicians who are part of Abbey Road’s unparalleled history and whose landmark recordings marked their childhood.

“It’s so special because when you listen to the recordings that you make, wherever you are, you’re back in that room,” said Hochhalter, who is also WindSync’s executive director and president of the musician. “We can’t wait to have that memory etched in our brains.”

The opportunity presented itself last spring when del Aguila – whose “Wind Quintet No. 2” appears on the band’s latest album, “All Worlds, All Times”, released in April – sent an e- mail to the musicians, asking them if they would be interested. by recording several of his pieces in the famous hall. Luckily, two of the four dates Abbey Road Studios had available for the rest of the year worked out for everyone involved after some slight scheduling changes, and not only that, but LaMoure knew the perfect place to say ” bravo” to the city they call their “creative laboratory”.

Abbey Road Route

When: 7:30 p.m. on September 29

Where: 8th Wonder Brewery, 2202 Dallas St.

Details: $10-100; windsync.org

Creating musical experiences in spaces that celebrate Houston’s uniqueness, such as 8th Wonder Brewery, has been integral to WindSync’s mission since its inception as a group of students at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. in 2009. The ensemble turned professional the following year before embarking on an international touring career, gaining nonprofit status and, most recently, joining the prestigious MKI Artist Roster. .

Although now only two of its members are local to Houston (Hochhalter, Tsai, and Johnson reside in California, Washington, D.C., and New York, respectively), WindSync maintains a four-concert series, an annual spring festival, and a strong outreach program. educational. in the town of Bayou. As part of its 2022-23 season lineup, the quintet will return for programs at Archway Gallery, Live Oak Friends Meeting House and Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston.

“The coolest thing about being a chamber ensemble – and it’s something we’ve been experimenting with for a long time – is fitting into other aspects of the community and finding a way to be part of it. art next to art or being art in spaces that aren’t normally considered art spaces,” Hochhalter said, looking over the backyard of the brewery East Downtown “These statues are really impressive. I mean, they pretty much do all the work for us.”

Lawrence Elizabeth Knox is a Houston-based writer.

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