3D StringTheory instruments

Ottawa Symphony Orchestra’s 3D StringTheory Experience

Angela Scheihauf

Ever wondered what a 3D printed instrument might sound like? On November 4th, the Ottawa Symphony, conducted by Alain Trudel, will present the 3D StringTheory Experience - a concert featuring 3D printed string instruments in the world premiere of Singularity by Harry Stafylakis. The event will take place in Ottawa City Hall. To date, no 3D printed ensemble has ever been featured with orchestra.

Segment of 3D printed instrument with support materialIn the spirit of the 3D StringTheory project, which marries technology and tradition, artistry and craftsmanship, the musical programme will be presented in a non-traditional format.

The first part of the event will feature chamber ensembles spread throughout the main corridor of City Hall, where the audience will walk from location to location to hear each ensemble play selections of Bach’s Art of the Fugue. This experience of traditional music in an innovative format will be open to all for free or on a “pay-what-you-can” basis.

The second half of the concert will take place in Jean Pigott Hall where there is a ticketed seating area and free/PWYC standing room. The music in this half of the event spans the range of traditional to contemporary beginning with the first piece, J. F. Rebel’s “Les Élémens”, written in 1737. On the other end of the spectrum is the world premiere of Singularity, by Canadian composer Harry Stafylakis which is as new as music can get having been finished only months ago! Singularity, commissioned by the Ottawa Symphony features an all-woman ensemble on 3D printed instruments accompanied by orchestra.Charline Dequincey, violin maker

The instruments played by the soloists were created through a closely-knit collaboration, facilitated by the Ottawa Symphony, and involved Ottawa-based violin maker Charline Dequincey, Creadditive designer Laurent Lacombe, and 3D printing partners at the Industrial Technology Centre in Winnipeg. Invited guests from this team will speak with Trudel between pieces, offering the audience a unique insight into the creation of the instruments and the music written for them.

The octet of soloists includes women who regularly play with the Ottawa Symphony, each with their own story. One of these soloists is Toronto born, Ottawa based violinist and violist, Marlena Pellegrino. Marlena first became a part of the OSO as a student mentee when she auditioned in her undergrad to join the violin section of the OSO-uO mentorship program. She has maintained her position in this program for 3 years. Marlena is also a founding member of the Kalaya String Quartet, with whom she has toured the East Coast, as well as performed at festivals such as Music and Beyond, ACE Chamberfest and the NAC Fourth Stage series.

3D StringTheory Soloists (L-R:  Mary-Elizabeth Brown, Jessie Ramsay, Geena Salway, Lisa Moody, Hanna Williamson, Natalie Deschesnes, Marlena Pellegrino, Alisa Klebanov)“My music career began probably by dancing around to records that my parents were playing when I was two or three. Later in my life, I remember pivotal moments as my passion for playing music changed and grew. One of the experiences that shaped me was playing Mahler's Ninth Symphony with the National Youth Orchestra.”

In addition to her classical playing, Marlena is also passionate about collaborating with non-classical artists in interdisciplinary recordings and productions, including award winning poet Brandon Wint and Ottawa's own folk duo Moonfruits. It Marlena’s excellence in playing and her willingness to explore new musical areas that made her a good fit for the 3D StringTheory program.

If you are interested in attending Ottawa Symphony’s 3D StringTheory Experience, you can purchase tickets on the OSO’s website: www.ottawasymphony.com. Those who cannot make it in person can experience the event from home through the livestream of the performance via the OSO website beginning at 12:15pm on November 4th.

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.

Photo credits:

  • Segment of 3D printed instrument with support material
  • Charline Dequincey, violin maker
  • 3D StringTheory Soloists (L-R:  Mary-Elizabeth Brown, Jessie Ramsay, Geena Salway, Lisa Moody, Hanna Williamson, Natalie Deschesnes, Marlena Pellegrino, Alisa Klebanov), photo: Ottawa Symphony Orchestra