Stepping Out

Bay Area's Black Cedar Trio performs free concert Feb. 26 at Los Altos Library

Courtesy of Mariana Walker
The Black Cedar Trio features Isaac Pastor-Chermak, from left, Steve Lin and Kris Palmer.

Billed as the only flute, guitar and cello group in the area, Black Cedar Trio is scheduled to perform 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Orchard Room at the Los Altos main library. Admission is free.

The group comprises guitarist Steve Lin, flutist Kris Palmer and cellist Isaac Pastor-Chermak.

Although this is their first time in the Santa Clara County Library District, the trio has been part of the library series for four years in San Francisco and Berkeley, according to Palmer. The flutist said she hopes the series will bring an awareness of classical music to those who don’t often explore it.

“Libraries draw in people from all walks of life and all socioeconomic levels,” she said. “By taking our classical music out of the concert hall and bringing it to a public venue designed to meet the basic needs of all of its citizens, we’re able to break down those ivory towers and barriers between audiences who don’t know much about music and the creators of that music.”

In terms of sound quality, Palmer added that she particularly enjoys the closer atmosphere that libraries bring.

“It’s possible to enjoy the acoustics of instrumental music more than you would outdoors, when you often have to amplify it,” said Palmer, also a published author. “Indoors you have the opportunity to do more intimate music, regardless of style. You can enjoy the tone colors of the instruments and the vocals.”

One of Black Cedar Trio’s greatest challenges, she added, is finding music to perform that suits the trio’s combination of instruments.

“Black Cedar Trio is the only flute, cello and guitar ensemble around – we can’t find another group that is devoted to that music,” Palmer said. “There’s not a lot written for that ensemble.”

However, they’ve been able to address that challenge by having music composed for them – and many of these selections feature distinct sounds.

“One of our composers wrote a piece for us while she was at Berkeley titled ‘In Transit,’” Palmer said. “She was inspired by BART, and the sound that the BART trains make. It’s those kinds of pieces that make our sound fun.”

For those considering attending the concert, Palmer has just one piece of advice.

“Let loose! You’re going to hear music you’ve never heard before, sounds you’ve never heard of before,” she said. “Even if you think that classical music concerts are too stuffy and uptight for you, our concert is different: We let loose and we want you to join us.”

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