The Rose Quintet Presents Elvis Costello’s The Juliet Letters
In 1993, renowned singer-songwriter Elvis Costello partnered with The Brodsky Quartet to create a unique song cycle culminating in the album The Juliet Letters. Each song takes the form of a letter and in each letter, Costello weaves a rich tapestry of characters and compelling stories. In the spirit of other classical and pop-fusing masterpieces, Costello and The Brodsky Quartet bring seemingly disparate voices together to present something beautiful, unique, and refreshingly new.
The Rose Quintet are:
Joseph Boucher – voice
Dean Stein – violin (Portland String Quartet)
Caroline Cornish – violin (Midcoast Symphony, former co-host of WCSH6’s 207)
Julia Adams – viola (Portland String Quartet)
Kevin Oates – cello (director, Maine Youth Rock Orchestra)
Rose Quintet photo by Mical Hutson
Lina Tullgren is from Southern Maine just over the border of the northernmost seacoast of New Hampshire. It’s an unexpected location for artistic incubation, but if you grow up anywhere surrounded by family and friends and weirdos interacting at all times with their own interpretations of creative output, osmosis is bound to occur. Shifting in trainings and traditions, the 24 year old eventually found herself a voice with the electric guitar, uniquely flavored and shaped from the many years of fiddle lessons and classical technique. The shifts in genre and in instrumentation are stark, but important. Lina’s morphing interaction with music has mirrored a growing determination to harness her ability to melodically and lyrically express complex emotions.
With 2016’s Wishlist EP – recorded to tape at the apartment of band mate Ty Ueda – Lina proved an ability to craft simple, introspective and succinct songs, each one a pulsing glow leaving you both hollow and whole, alone but never lonely. It is on Lina’s debut album Won that we reap the full rewards of this newfound confidence in expression and rejection of internal hesitation. “The writing doesn’t necessarily get easier, but I feel more comfortable tapping into emotions and going to those places that need to be written about. Won, as it turned out, is the product that I have been hearing and picturing in my head as I write and listen to music.” It is the product of what happens when you push past the fear of what it means to think out loud – to become accountable for your internal struggles by way of manifesting your ideas into songs that are then free to grow apart from you, to exist on their own while always remaining specifically implicative of you. Now backed by a full band, each track manages to remain piercingly intimate, sometimes brief, and always honest, while gaining a wholly new sense of gestation both sonically and lyrically.
Portland’s resident of star-gazing electro, funk, and soul Bright Boy opens the evening.