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Music video review: fivebyfive performs ‘Waiting in the Rain for Snow’ 

On November 17, Rochester chamber ensemble fivebyfive released its music video for “Waiting in the Rain for Snow” by composer David Crowell — just in time for the slushy in-between season that surely awaits us.


Produced by Marc Webster at Blue on Blue Recording Studio, the performance video features skillfully edited close-ups that fade in and out quickly on the individual musicians. This camerawork provides a visual representation of the contemporary classical quintet’s cohesion and unflappable melodic interplay. Meanwhile, splotches of blue cast cool, shadowy light on the group.

Musically, David Crowell’s composition — with its sudden shifts in time signatures and somewhat static harmonies — draws from the complex “Minimalism” of composers Terry Riley and Steve Reich. But Crowell’s urgent and ardent piece soon transitions into a more lyrical take on these established structures of repetition, with ominous yet beautiful harmonic colors that are reminiscent of the music of composer Missy Mazzoli and her ensemble Victoire.

The members of fivebyfive — clarinetist Marcy Bacon, flutist Laura Lentz, pianist Haeyeun Jeun, bassist Eric J. Polenik, and electric guitarist Sungmin Shin — are more than up to the task here. Compared to an interpretation of “Waiting in the Rain for Snow” by New York City-based NOW Ensemble (a group with identical instrumentation), fivebyfive’s take is more deliberate and contemplative, qualities that blend brilliantly with Webster’s video work.

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