Review by Zoë Madonna
I’ve been thinking a lot about snow lately. It’s hard not to, these days. Ever since my final semester at Oberlin started, the campus has been buried in the stuff. The wind just begins to blow the trees bare or the temperature pushes just high enough for the snow to start melting, but then the clouds gather again and yet another new blanket falls.
The Formalist Quartet – Mark Menzies, violin/viola; Andrew Tholl, violin; Andrew McIntosh, violin/viola; Ashley Walters, cello – performed February 4 in Oberlin College’s Warner Concert Hall, with fresh, cold powder blowing outside.
From the outside, the music the ensemble performs might all look similar – a white haze of loud pops and jarring rasps with the occasional smirk of tonality thrown in for good measure. Once you take a walk through it, or dip your fingers in ungloved, or throw yourself in backwards with your arms spread out, then you will begin to see how many textures it has to offer. No microscope needed.