UNF and the Cummer Family Foundation Chamber Music Series presented “The Chamber Music of Gary Smart”, last Tuesday in the Recital Hall at The University of North Florida. Easy Edit Video had the pleasure to cover the concert using a two camera wide angle set up with high quality video and audio recording equipment.
The program began with a segment called “Street Music” performed by Piotr Szewczyk on violin and Betsy Federman on cello. This segment was a bluesy, layered and complex piece. Then followed a premier segment called “Heartwings” with Simon Shiao on violin, Jorge Pena on viola, and Alex Downs on cello. This was a string trio piece inspired by the emotional life of birds; being abstract, spacious and beautifully lyrical. The final segment before intermission was called “The Encantadas” performed by Piotr Szewczyk on violin, Betsy Federman on cello, and Gary Smart on piano. In this piece, they expertly recreated Spanish traditional music to show common ground in diversity.
The final performances were “Fellow Creatures” featuring Jimmy Hall as the tenor and Gary Smart on piano, followed by “Piano Quartet” with Philip Pan on violin, Jorge Pena on viola, Alex Downs on cello and Gary Smart on piano. “Fellow Creatures” are ten songs inspired by the poems of Ogden Nash, who was a clever poet that wrote short and silly, yet sophisticated poems. These were songs that Gary Smart wrote in his younger years and he now performs them with his friend Jimmy Hall to relive those special moments. “Piano Quartet” was the final piece of the night. It a wonderful number based on several international folk tunes including African American, Chinese, Hindu, Swedish and Mexican cultural melodies.
We were honored to not only film this memorable performance but to work with the great people at UNF who know how to put on a quality performance and pleasant evening.