The University of Georgia is about to be exposed to a different kind of classical music, with a performance by the four member British band Red Priest. Unlike most performances hosted by the university, this group specializes in baroque.
“Baroque is actually kind of a rough time scale, so that means it’s from 1600 to 1750; that gives you the historic period for it. For people that don’t really know much about this music, the first thing is, of all forms of classical music, it’s the most approachable. I think people are always surprised. It’s very rhythmic and the harmonies are very immediate and appealing," said Pier Adams, recorder player for the group. "It’s full of interesting color and all kinds of different components, and it’s quite understandable music, very immediate."
Named after famous Italian composer and priest, Antonio Vivaldi, Red Priest is a baroque-loving quartet that began in 1997 with eleven members. Today only two of the original eleven remain, Adams and cellist Angela East.
“In terms of how we got together, we’ve all be associated with our group over the years. People have been on the sidelines as a sort of traditional way of performing baroque music and early music, which is often kind of a bit serious and a bit academic. We’re all people that are sort of inclined to that, certainly when it comes to live performance, so we kind of found each other in various different ways. We’ve all been on the sidelines in the early music world,” Adams said.
The acoustic group’s style is focused on conveying the music of the Baroque period while also having fun and creating an engaging, enjoyable environment.
“The other thing about baroque is, it’s all about freedom and expression, and kind of having a good time, really. But the musicians in the day, at that time, a lot of them were pretty wild showmen. It’s kind of the music of the people, in a way,” Adams said.
Adams continued to explain the composition of the shows, referring to the principles that go into them.
“We try to bring in all those elements, we try to recapture that feeling of excitement and immediacy and taking risks and having a ball. We try to bring that up to the modern day by using probably about 70 percent of research and knowledge of the period, and the other 30 percent is us bringing our own personalities and what we want to do to the music,” Adams said.
Red Priest has performed in Athens before during the early 2000s, and have quite the setlist for their performance on Nov. 12 at the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center.
“It’s a mixture of three, big Baroque composers, Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, with a few lesser known names tucked in there.” Adams said, “Give it a try, there’s something very appealing about this music. We try to present it with a lot of energy; I think it’ll give you a good time.”
What: Red Priest
When: Wednesday, November 12th at 8 pm
Where: University of Georgia Performing Arts Center