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click to enlarge Rochester chamber music ensemble fivebyfive. - PHOTO BY JOHN SCHLIA
  • Rochester chamber music ensemble fivebyfive.
Following its “Glass Works” project with artist Judith Schaechter and the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester chamber ensemble fivebyfive continues its fascination with visual art when it gives the world premieres of two new compositions inspired by the photography of James Welling. At a virtual event entitled “It Can’t Not Be Dance Music,” in conjunction with George Eastman Museum and its current exhibition “James Welling: Choreograph, ” fivebyfive will present the musical pieces in the form of music videos created by audio and video engineer Marc Webster, a frequent collaborator.  The event was originally scheduled for September 20 as part of the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, but  has since been postponed (the new date is yet to be announced) in solidarity with Rochester's racial justice protests.

Wellington’s photographic meditations on movement feature vibrant color washes, abstract textures, and the suggestion that to dance is a transcendent act. The local contemporary classical quintet, in turn, commissioned composers Kamala Sankaram and Bob Lydecker to create works of sound inspired by that photography. Sankaram is an emotive and rhythmically innovative composer known for multiple operas, including “Taking Up Serpents” and “Thumbprint.” The Emmy-nominated Lydecker has a penchant for highly kinetic, cinematic compositions, having written music for the shows “Iron Fist” produced by Marvel and Netflix and “Lethal Weapon” from Fox and Warner Bros.

The music video premieres will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the members of fivebyfive, Webster, Welling, and the composers. For more information go to,, and

Daniel J. Kushner is CITY’s music editor. He can be reached at
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