For those who may be skeptical about the prospect of chamber music holding one's interest, allow me to present my 4-year-old son as Exhibit A.
For a full hour, my young'un sat enraptured, not speaking and barely moving, as a quintet played alongside homespun narration. It was funny, entertaining and, yes, utterly engrossing. The hour flew by for both of us.
If Mallarmé can hold a preschoolers' attention, it's certainly worthy of yours.
Founded in 1984, the "flexible ensemble" of local musicians is committed to sharing a wide array of musical styles and traditions for all kinds of audiences in all manner of venues.
From its website: "Programs include rarely heard works from the traditional chamber music repertoire that celebrate the diversity in our community by featuring the music of African-American, Asian, Latino, Indian, Middle Eastern and women composers. Mallarmé has commissioned over 25 new works by American composers."
There are two chances to see them this very month.
On Oct. 27 at 8pm at Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Mallarme will perform a selection of works from N.C. composer Dr. J. Mark Scearce based on art an poetry.
The following evening, head to The Carolina Theatre as Mallarmé members accompany a screening of the horror classic, Nosferatu.
Still skeptical? Check out the video link above featuring Mallarme playing with The Beast and 32 chorus kids in a rendition of REM's Everybody Hurts. I defy you to fend off goosebumps and/or throat lumps.
If that doesn't hold your attention, nothing will.