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Escala - The Female String Quartet::String quartet of women
Not your average Classical quartet
What would I have to pay you to get you to watch four women play classical music? I know the immediate picture brought to your mind is one of four ladies sitting in chairs with lavish formal dresses, hair up in buns, playing some droning music that is only found in your father’s music collection or on your local public radio station. Well, this is the 21st century boys and girls and traditional is not always the only option.
Allow me to introduce the ladies of Escala. Escala is a four woman classical quartet from the United Kingdom who will permanently alter your view of classical music. Is it their playing that will accomplish this magical deed? Possibly. Is it their style? Probably. Or could it be the way they perform? Most likely. Really, when you see the four YOUNG women standing to play high energy music with dresses appropriate to their ages you will be required to alter your view of classical music performance forever.
Where they came from
Prior to the spring of 2008, this quartet only had limited regional familiarity as they played at events around their local area, such as weddings and the like. Their big break came when they entered the Britain’s Got Talent competition, where they got to perform before a national audience on television. While there jump to fame did not parallel the more meteoric rise of one Miss Susan Boyle, the ladies of Escala have fared very well.
They competed for a few rounds in the second season of Britain’s Got Talent, enlisting several thousands of fans along the way. Similar to Miss Boyle’s experience they did not win this talent show, but they got the national and also international exposure that would ultimately pay bigger dividends.
How I found them
I love the internet. It shrinks the world so that we can see things we might never get the chance to see otherwise. It is due to the access I have to the World Wide Web that I found the video of the group performing on Britain’s Got Talent. I will admit there is something appealing to me when a young woman is playing classical music with such enthusiasm and energy. I am no more interested in the boring picture I painted in the first paragraph of musicians with such rigid bodies that you think they may just be machines. As I searched for the alternative, Escala was among the contenders.
There is nothing staid or boring about these young women. Yes, they are attractive. Yes, they wear dresses that not only match, but accentuate their physical beauty. But, I listen to their music on my iPod, so the physical beauty will only be effective on the video that is attached with this hub. The beauty in their rendering of music is just as lovely if not more as the ones who play so divinely.
Who they are
The women’s names are: Tasya Hodges, Chantal Leverton, Izzy Johnston and Victoria Lyon. Victoria is the one with red hair and plays the violin. Chantal and Izzy have blonde hair, Chantal being the taller of the two. While Izzy plays another violin, Chantal is the only member to handle the viola. Tasya has the pleasure of making the cello come to life in the songs produced by the group.
Their instruments are not your usual classical instruments, either. As you can see from the video these things are more electronic than anything you have probably ever seen. This is because they are basically an electronic version of a string quartet. Hence the name they chose fits very well, e-Scala or in its present form Escala.
Almost one year after wowing the audiences in the theaters where Britain’s Got Talent was presented, the group finally got a chance to release their work to the general public. The name of their first album was simply titled Escala. It included some familiar works by others along with songs the members put together.
I purchased the album as soon as it was available on iTunes and have been very pleased with every song they offer. To be sure this is not your father’s classical music, but then we have already decided that was a definite reason to shy away haven’t we? Don’t be afraid to try something new with this unusual presentation as it is well worth your effort.
The video included with this article is from their performance of Children on the Britain’s Got Talent competition from 2008. This is the first video of Escala I ever saw, and the one that sold me on the talent the young ladies have. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. You can search You Tube for other songs they perform as well as other places they have traveled over the last three years.
It is not often that Simon Cowell offers such high praise without some kind of negative words, but in the video there is nothing but positive words for the group. In fact, all three judges praise the girls and assure them they have a great chance to go very far on the show. As it turned out, the judges were accurate, since the girls survived until the final round, before losing to someone else.
Currently Escala is touring the European continent, performing at various venues in an attempt to broaden their fame. The music world is a fast paced, highly competitive place where names are made and forgotten quickly. It seems very likely to me the ladies of Escala will find a place where they can survive and thrive with their distinctive offering of string music.
Music is one of those things that can make a group unforgettable, just as the Beatles, Rolling Stones and the Who can attest. I hope the ladies of Escala can find a similar fame from the way they deliver their music to the masses. Of course their genre will make it more challenging, but they do have some offerings in the pop and crossover areas, so this will help broaden their scope.
These young ladies are attractive and I am sure that is the impetus of some interest, but to listen to the way they present music is much more beautiful. Their strings seem to have a life unlike any I have ever heard. I hope they find a huge following in this country.