Fleshquartet is a Swedish musical group that has been making and releasing original music since 1985, and after a quarter of a century they still manage to be unique in all kinds of ways. For one thing, they’re about the only five-member quartet around; they perform as a string quartet with a percussionist, and their music covers a lot of territory on the imaginative sides of both pop and classical. If you have even the least bit of resistance to everything mandatory and formulaic in musical success, you just have to like them. Their Facebook page is enigmatic and mostly in Swedish, their records aren’t at the U.S. iTunes, the bio at their site is only in Swedish, and the press kit at their site consists of a single photo you can download. One more thing, in an apparently complete and inspiring defiance of everything that could be called “branding”, they go by two names, “Fleshquartet” and “Fläskkvartetten”.
None of that matters at all because they make such captivating music. They did the original score for choreographer Mats Ek’s “Appartement”, and performed live for twelve performances of the work earlier this year at the Opera Garnier in Paris. Ek’s “Casi-Casa”, which is being performed this weekend at Hubbard Street’s Winter Series at the Harris Theater in Chicago, features Fleshquartet’s music; it’s a composite of two of Eks’ works, “Appartement” and “Fluke”, with new choreography. (For tickets to Hubbard Street’s Winter Series, there’s a twenty-percent discount with promo code “CASI” if you go to http://bit.ly/UG99vy)
They’ve also worked with some of the best vocalists in Swedish alternative music over the years, including a beautiful track sung by Anna Ternheim called “Quiet Night”, originally part of the soundtrack for a Swedish televsion series (“Wallander”) that Fleshquartet writes music for. Here’s the Soundcloud of that track, courtesy of the show’s label, Kning Disk: