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TTK: Indie Strings

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TTKs are Sky Blue Window's 'Things to Know,' events, ideas and cultural creations that we think are worthy of your time and attention.

In the orchestra, violists are often the subject of more than their fair share of jokes. Wagner dismissed them as "infirm violinists" and in Lemony Snicket's The Composer Is Dead (which is, as you likely know, a kids' classical music whodunit), violas themselves bemoan, "Everyone forgets about us." But this Friday, genre-busting violist Nadia Sirota will perform alongside an important modern classical composer at Grove Haus.

Nadia Sirota's new album Baroque is both on Icelandic cooperative label Bedroom Community, which she runs alongside other indie classical musicians.  - SAMANTHA WEST
  • Samantha West
  • Nadia Sirota's new album Baroque is both on Icelandic cooperative label Bedroom Community, which she runs alongside other indie classical musicians.

According to PopMatters' Matt Cibula, Nadia Sirota "attacks the viola, torques it, reduces it to smoldering ashes." It's no wonder, then, other artists regularly recruit her to interpret and add to their work. If you like Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire or Son Lux, you've probably heard her eloquent tones. She's also recorded with more classical but no less "indie" composers and performers including Nico Muhly and Meredith Monk. Sirota recently released her second album, Baroque, on the Icelandic label and collective Bedroom Community.

The album features compositions by six contemporary composers, including Muhly, Shara Worden and Daniel Bharnason. Track three is Missy Mazzoli's viola and electronics piece, "Tooth and Nail."  Mazzoli, whom Time Out New York described as "Brooklyn's post-millennial Mozart," will play keyboard and electronics alongside Nirota at Friday's performance.

In addition to her composition work, Missy Mazzoli leads Victoire, an all-female chamber pop group.  - STEPHEN S. TAYLOR
  • Stephen S. Taylor
  • In addition to her composition work, Missy Mazzoli leads Victoire, an all-female chamber pop group.

Given Grove Haus' location in hipster hotbed Fountain Square and its co-owner's day job at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Nirota and Mazzoli couldn't have found a better spot to land in town. The show is $5 and local musicians Derek Johnson and Robert Simonds will also perform on guitar and violin, respectively.

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