Romer String Quartet
Music in Virusland
Romer String Quartet will record quartet excerpts from “Sunrise” and “The Bird” by the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, collaborating with Kenneth Tsang (Artwork Production) and Chih Leung (Motion Graphic Design) to create three episodes of original animation. The story is based on the situation during the pandemic, which keeps most people homebound, especially children, the disabled, ethnic minorities, the elderly and their carers. While looking out of their windows as usual, they happen to see four birds on the clothesline playing as a string quartet. The musical birds also take on the role of postmen, delivering a “get well” card to the father who is being treated for COVID-19 in hospital, and “thank you” cards to the medical and healthcare workers respectively.
Romer String Quartet
Named after the Romer’s Tree Frog endemic to Hong Kong, the Romer String Quartet has been recognised as one of the most active string quartets in town since its debut in 2013. The group has toured Asia and the United States to perform at Carnegie Hall, performed at various festivals including Hong Kong Art Festival, and had been the Ensemble-in-Residence of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The quartet has engaged in cross-genre performances in collaboration with artists ranging from dancers, choreographers, multimedia artists, storytellers to indie rock bands. Romer also works frequently with both established and young composers to give world-premieres of commissioned works.
Bringing the 3Hs: Haydn, Hope and Healing to Households
The Romer String Quartet has chosen to perform Haydn’s “Sunrise” for the three-part animation series for three-folded reasons: in addition to the paying tribute to Haydn, who was recognised as the “father of string quatets”, the programmatic work itself implies a sense of optimism and hope with its allusion to dawn and a new day. Most importantly, the ensemble hopes that the easy-listening music would bring some relief to the viewers, and thus allowing them to find peace and solace under the stressful times during the pandemic.
Each of the episodes would be uploaded to the YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram account of the Romer String Quartet for public viewing and comment. The audience is also invited to express words of thanks and sympathy towards frontline health workers, and these would be for creating the “thank-you cards” in the final episode.