Documentary, 24 Minutes
Director, Editor (In Production)
Creating Harmony is a 30-minute film that brings us into the world of four determined women who, despite their distinct differences, have collaborated together for thirty years to form the multi-award winning Lafayette String Quartet – the longest running all female ensembles in the world.
In 1985, when the four members of The Lafayette String Quartet left the stability of their orchestra positions to form an all-female string quartet, they knew they were giving up their financial security to follow a “pipe dream.” They hoped the creative freedom and independence a quartet offered would be worth the risk. Each musician is an equal partner just as the four distinct instruments come together to create harmony.
The next several years proved to be more than just a constant rehearsal schedule while surviving off a meager salary. It involved learning how to work and create music together – as a democracy.
In quartets, there is no leader or conductor. The music is created collaboratively. All decisions about the volume, tone, timing, and emotional resonance of the music is made as a team – no easy task. For this reason, The Lafayette rehearsals are incredibly active, with frequent pauses to voice one’s opinion, make adjustments, restate, play again, advocate for different options without stomping on feelings, and then make quick decisions about how to play a section of music before moving on to the next. Bickering is a given. But so is striking a balance between asserting an opinion and graceful collegiality.
String quartet music mostly closely resembles the human voice. Composers write their most intimate and emotional music for these ensembles. Today, the Lafayette String Quartette’s ‘pipe dream’ has become a reality. They have gained international recognition for intricate music that reviewers have called “emotionally nuanced”, “haunting”, and “delivered with wonderful precision and an instinctive responsiveness that can only come from years as making music as a team.” Since 1991, these remarkable four women have been the artists-in-residence at the University of Victoria’s School of Music, in British Columbia where they still teach and mentor, continuing to nurture the musical culture of British Columbia.
Creating Harmony will appeal to anyone who: desires taking more risks in their personal or professional life, have struggled to work as part of a team, or have heard the sensuous sound of a violin, or the darkly bellow of a cello and wondered who was making that powerful music, and how?