Tiny Desk Live performance : NPR

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Because the members of the Mivos Quartet started their sound verify behind Bob Boilen’s desk, I could not assist however consider outdated violins — which have to be performed often with the intention to hold sounding good. For me, that is what our Tiny Desk house is like; it must cradle musicians and their music. After nearly 1000 performances right here, the pandemic shuttered our doorways and this Mivos live performance marks simply the second time since March 2020 that music has rung out from this house. Listening to it was sufficient to make me tear up.

After all, it helps to have extraordinary music, particularly carried out by these positive gamers who’re dedicated to up to date music. They start with «Midnight Solar,» a brief motion from Robert Honstein’s Arctic, written for Mivos in 2013. Its shimmering vivid gentle and pulsating power is impressed by pictures taken above the Alaskan Arctic Circle in summer season, when the solar by no means units.

Henry Threadgill’s Sixfivetwo, from 2018, is one thing altogether totally different. You will not go away buzzing the music, however that is not the purpose. An open thoughts is what the composer is on the lookout for. The textures listed here are translucent and colourful, with room for particular person solos and duets – some are improvised, others are written out. «We get to the place we’re due to exploration,» Threadgill as soon as stated. «That is why improvisation is so vital.»

The string quartet is likely to be a 400-year-old recipe for music, however the Mivos Quartet proves that two violins, a viola and a cello are nonetheless a vibrant pressure, and a satisfying option to break in a singular house, relishing its music as soon as once more.


  • Robert Honstein: «Midnight Solar» (from Arctic)
  • Henry Threadgill: Sixfivetwo


  • Olivia De Prato: violin
  • Maya Bennardo: violin
  • Victor Lowrie Tafoya: viola
  • Tyler J. Borden: cello


  • Producer: Tom Huizenga
  • Audio Recording & Combine Engineer: Josh Rogosin
  • Director: Kara Body
  • Artistic Director: Bob Boilen
  • Sequence Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Editor: Joshua Bryant
  • Videographers: Kara Body, Joshua Bryant, Pierre Kattar
  • Tiny Desk Group: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Jill Britton, Ashley Pointer, Maia Stern
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann


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