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Innovation Theater heats up as more fire artists blow glass in real time with live music by fivebyfive at Fringe Festival

In keeping with its innovative spirit, fivebyfive launches its new season at the Rochester Fringe Festival, Innovation Theater oSunday, September 18 at 5 pm.

Audiences will be able to watch continuous live streaming of More Fire Glass Studio artists Elizabeth Lyons, Jennifer Schinzing, and Michael Krupiarz creating blown glass inspired by fivebyfives live music.

In recognition of 2022 as the United Nations International Year of Glass, fivebyfive’s repertoire all relates to the different qualities, aspects, or descriptors of glass, such as: shimmering, reflective, light-filled, fragile, and breakable.

A short documentary video by Brooklyn-based filmmaker Chalkley Calderwood opens the program, in which More Fire Glass Studio Founder Elizabeth Lyons talks about the philosophy behind her luminous hand blown, sculpted glass.


The music begins with composer Brittany Green’s new arrangement of her reflective piece Lead Me Home for fivebyfive, with Marc Webster on electronics. With shimmering gestures, the players’ music melds in and out like a kaleidoscope, as ethereal glittering harmonies slowly rise out of the electronics.

Next is the World Premiere of Dreams of glass and water by Norwegian composer Kari Telstad Sundet, commissioned by fivebyfive. Inspired by glass, its properties, its relationship with water, and how our brain processes dreams, the music shatters, ripples and morphs, always changing and ultimately impermanent. “Like glass and water reflecting light and color,” said Sundet, “our minds reflect memory fragments rippling through our brain.” Marc Webster assists on electronics.

A live video check-in follows, with More Fire artists discussing the glass blowing “process” versus “product.”

The next piece is Öldurót (Ocean Waves) by Icelandic musician Olafur Arnalds from his 2016 album Island Songs. It is arranged for fivebyfive by its bassist, Eric J. Polenik.



Polenik also arranged this version of The Thin Blue Line, the title track by Philip Glass from the 1988 American documentary film by Errol Morris.

… a tiny dream … was composed in 2010 by Anthony R. Green, with this 2020 version commissioned by and specifically created for fivebyfive. This piece pays tribute to the existence of our past precious, fragile moments, as well as those future moments that will eventually become our tiny dreams.

A second live video chat with More Fire artists leads into a performance of Heavy by Evan Williams. Written in 2016 and arranged by the composer in 2019 for fivebyfive, Heavy is primarily focused on heavy gestures and timbres. It is inspired by dark or “heavy” emotions like anger and sadness. Percussionist Kristin Shiner McGuire joins the ensemble as a guest artist in this piece.

Dreadlocked (Marc Mellits) was written in 2010 and arranged for fivebyfive in 2018. The repetitive nature of the music propels itself into spiraling dances — always with a forward motion — into sometimes dark and sometimes bright areas of a spectral musical canvas. The high intensity and energy are explosive. Marc Webster joins fivebyfive on organ.

The program concludes with safe, participatory smashing of pre-baked sugar water glass provided by fivebyfive. Digital program and tickets ($15/general admission) are available online.

Support for this concert comes from New Music USA and the New York State Council on the Arts. 

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