When Music Becomes Ceremony: A Conversation with Dorothy Lawson and Robert Mirabal

Nov 21, 2012

Several years ago, the string quartet Ethel – often acclaimed as America’s first “first post-classical” quartet -- began reaching out to master musicians from other cultures to see what kind of music they could perform together. In 2008, they began working with Grammy-Award winning Native American flutist, composer and artist Robert Mirabal, and since then, have come to the southwest every year to work with him and the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project. In this conversation with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, Ethel’s cellist Dorothy Lawson and Robert Mirabal discuss how they approach the music with open minds and hearts, and involve the audience and the performers in a musical experience that has a deeply ceremonial quality. The interview was conducted in September before they performed at NMSU.

Dorothy Lawson, cellist with
Credit Leora Zeitlin