A couple of years ago, a group of Canadian indie rockers (some play in Arcade Fire) decided to write and play their own chamber music. Their album As Seen Through Windows is a lush, surprising mix of instruments and melodies, many of them born out of improvisation.
The group is inspired by the music of Arvo PÃ¤rt, Steve Reich, and Bela Bartok. But violinist Sarah Neufeld tells Kurt Andersen that the song "Dark Lights" began as a collaboration with a group of dancers. "We had this rehearsal where we were all switching roles and the dancers were pushing us around on chairs and we were improvising." Bell Orchestre performs the song live in the studio.
(Originally aired: May 8, 2009)
Video: "The Gaze"