Water Bear Concerts

When:Where:How Much:
February 23, 2002
Saturday, 10:00pm
ABC Cafe
308 Stewart Avenue
March 14, 2002
Thursday, 8:00pm
Anabel Taylor Chapel
Cornell Campus
March 24, 2002
Sunday, 4:00pm
Unitarian Church
Buffalo & Aurora
part of Women's Works
March 30, 2002
Saturday, 8:00pm
Juna's Cafe
Ithaca Commons
April 28, 2002
Sunday, 4:00pm
Unitarian Church
Buffalo & Aurora
$8 / discounts

Water Bear, photo by Robert Stuart

What's in a name? Fiddler Mer Boel has created a unique collection of songs she calls "Name Music," which are performed by her folk-jazz string quartet, Water Bear. Using a creative name-to-note system, she writes songs that reflect the special qualities of different names. "I mapped the letters of the alphabet to pitches on the violin, and use the series of pitches that result when I spell out a name to provide the opening motif and inspire the rest of the melodic material," she explains. "As in jazz or bluegrass idioms, the composed musical elements are used as a basis for improvisation."

She's joined in good company, with Hank Roberts on cello, Ruth Roland on violin, and Tim Reppert on bass. The four musicians have a intense rapport. "I love playing with Hank," she explains. "It is a real honor for me; I respect and admire him so much as a composer/performer and as a person. He really encouraged me with my composing." Boel met Roland in a group playing contemporary Finnish fiddle music, and Reppert joined the group after first working with them in his recording studio. And now, Roland and Roberts are also writing name songs!

Hankering to hear the "Kenny" song? Panting to hear "Pat"? Water Bear will be performing the following gigs, and hope to see you there.

(Bridget Meeds)

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