Black Dog String Quartet Deliver Chamber Pop and Classical Music Brilliance
Chamber pop and classical music enthusiasts will find much to love in this new release from Canadian music collective Black Dog String Quartet. Vancouver’s Black Dog String Quartet showcase a hybrid of stylistic and thematic approaches rich with meaning on ‘deeply personal’ new album “A Thousand Times Brighter”, out April 28, 2023 on streaming platforms. This discerning collection of nine new compositions finds the seasoned musicians diving into a rich reservoir of shared dreams and collective wisdom. Musically drawing from a web of connected disciplines ranging from contemporary classical music, folk and fiddle music to chamber pop, “A Thousand Times Brighter” distills Black Dog String Quartet‘s powerful artistic vision into a cohesive, emotion-packed experience – yearning, somber, graceful and transcendent.
“These songs present the quartet in an unique role: the quartet as a band, forming the energetic core of the music, with support on some tracks from upright bass, drums, and brass instruments. The composition reflects our collective interests in contemporary composition, fiddle, folk, and pop music. Recognizable pop forms are mixed with extended instrumental sections, unexpected textures, and extended string techniques. There are stylistic elements borrowed from fiddle music, contemporary classical, Romantic-period art song (especially German Lieder), contemporary folk, and Balinese gamelan.
The album’s primary thematic material is ecology and the natural world. The songs explore specific western Canadian environments such as the interior plateau, the coastal rainforest, and the prairies, as well as our human relationship with these places. Woven through this imagery is a narrative of deeply personal reflections on mental health, intimacy, and dreams.”
During the production of “A Thousand Times Brighter”, Black Dog String Quartet experienced a significant tragedy when their producer/engineer, Olivia Quan, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly of natural causes at just 25 years old. She had nearly finished mixing the album at the time – the final adjustments were done by her colleague, Tom Dobrzanski.
“Olivia was a young audio engineering phenom, having already worked on multiple Juno-nominated recordings, and the BDSQ considered her a friend. We had specifically selected her to work on this project with us after having worked with her as a session quartet on multiple other artists’ albums.”