DSQ Electric fuses classical and contemporary rock at Vilar show Thursday
DSQ Electric comes to the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Jan. 9. They’ve been described as “Bach meets Bon Jovi,” but what does that even mean? The Vail Daily spoke with Ion Zanca, the band’s composer and one of three violinists, to talk DSQ and why what they’re doing is special.
Vail Daily: You guys have been described as “Bach meets Bon Jovi.”
Ion Zanca: You’re like, ‘what is that?’
VD: Yeah, I can picture it in my head, but how would you describe it?
IZ: We started as a classical string quartet, so you play Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, all this stuff. Then we started to record a lot of pop and rock music later on, but we didn’t want to lose the training, because sometimes some of this rock tunes are not that complex. They’re cool and they’re hard in their own way.
VD: It’s like, three chords some of them too.
IZ: Exactly. So we said, “well, we want to highlight the musicians, ’cause they’re amazing players in the concerts.” We did a couple of things. One was keeping some of the classical repertoire in the concerts. It’s like a musical journey. So we start with classical music in the first half of the show and in the second half, we progress into rock. Two, we do a lot of arrangements where we mix the two. For example, we have one, “I Will Survive Paganini,” and it started as just a joke in the office. One of the girls was playing all these fast notes by (Niccolò) Paganini and then I was playing “I Will Survive.” We started battling, going back and forth between the Paganini concerto and Gloria Gaynor. It turned into this really cool arrangement where we mashed the two. It goes back and forth, back and forth.
Good music – it doesn’t matter, it can be classical, it can be pop, it can be rock. So it’s a fun way for people that are not familiar with Paganini to hear that. The classical audience that doesn’t really listen to Gloria Gaynor gets some of that in there.
VD: What’s your favorite part of playing both classical and rock music?
IZ: When I used to play mostly classical, I mean, there are certain pieces. Sometimes you go to the symphony and you hear a four-movement symphony and a lot of it is good, but there is only one part of it that is really beautiful. My favorite part is that we get to choose the most beautiful part of the classical repertoire and play that. You don’t have to hear an hour and a half of classical music. We highlight the beautiful classical music in small pieces where people can digest and not get overwhelmed by it. That’s why we do it first.
After that, we get to do more fun stuff. It becomes a bit more relaxed. I like that because the audience can get to know the group and the strings and everybody does different things and solos and stories. You feel like you’re part of it.
VD: Does anyone ski or snowboard in the group?
IZ: Yes, half of us. The other half of us use a plastic bag to go down the hill.
VD: Are you guys going to try to get out on the hill?
IZ: Yeah, we’ll try to. We might need some recommendations.
VD:What are you most excited for about playing here?
IZ: I feel like it’s in a place where people come in with the idea that they want to be relaxed and entertained. Sometimes in the0 cities, people are so stressed and they take a good half an hour to relax. But in Vail, it seems like this should be no problem. I may be wrong, I don’t know, but I think people will be relaxed and ready to have a good time.
If you go …
What: DSQ Electric
When: Thursday, Jan. 9, 7 p.m.
Where: The Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek
Cost: $48 for adults, $25 for students, Pay Your Age program available
More information: Visit vilarpac.org or call 970-845-8497.