Bellows and Brass is a trio of three respected and accomplished soloists.
Each have been invited to perform as concerto soloists with orchestras such as the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
When they get together as a trio, however, they like to have fun.
Yes, they will be chatting with the Whitehorse Concerts audience on Saturday, Feb. 7; but it will go much further than that. Much, much further.
In the second half of their performance … they become puppets.
“Puppets go on the ends of our instruments and the sound that comes from the instruments is their voice,” explains Guy Few, the trumpet and piano player of Bellows and Brass.
“And our bodies are the bodies of the characters.”
The operatic play is called The Perfect Cake, and Few says he hopes the audience will hiss at the bad guy and moan with sorrow when the heroine is in trouble.
“This is something I can’t imagine any other brass or chamber group being willing to give a try,” says Few … proudly.
“You need to be able to act and, in my case, willing to play two trumpets with only a beat or two between.
“It’s very exciting.
“It’s like Cirque du Soleil with brass instruments.
“I also play piano and trumpet at the same time in the overture of the opera.
“It is one of my gimmicks,” he says. “I play with my left hand on piano and right hand on the trumpet and then throw it onto my lap when I need both hands on the piano.”
See? They like to have fun.
The first half of the performance is Bach, Mozart and Couperin, just what you would expect from a trumpet and piano player, Eric Vaillancourt’s trombone and … an accordion?
“At first, you think, Wow, this is kind of weird, but when you think of music in its historical perspective, it really works,” says Few of the accordion.
Joseph Petric, who puts the “Bellows” in Bellows and Brass, helps the trio re-create the idea that period music was played with a portative organ (one that can be carried).
“We want to re-create what the original sound was, but with our own twist,” says Few.
“We probably are trying to get an idea across that matches what the composer wants, but not exactly what the composer wants,” he says, explaining that composers know they cannot always dictate which instruments will be used.
Bellows and Brass is performing at the Yukon Arts Centre Saturday, Feb. 7, at 8 p.m., as part of the Whitehorse Concerts Classically Yours Series.
Tickets are available at the Yukon Arts Centre Box Office and Arts Underground.