The Dom Minasi String Quartet came into existence four years ago with the recording of The Vampire’s Revenge (CDM Records 1005). Although Vampire’s was two hours long with as many as 22 musicians recording at different times, including a conductor, it was out of necessity that Dom put the string group together.”It was virtually impossible to book 22 musicians for concerts and festivals, “so I re-wrote the arrangements for a different kind of string quartet”. What makes this string quartet different is the guitar. The guitar sometimes substitutes for viola, violin- two, bass or cello; and with the addition of contrabass and the inter-mingling of parts, the quartet has its’ own unique sound that can not be categorized. In the tradition of a new music group, the Dom Minasi String Quartet is untraditional
Each musician was hand picked because of his artistry and virtuosity. They are among the best improvisers on the planet and they can read and play anything that Dom writes, but most of all they listen to each other. Each member puts aside his ego and contributes his artistry to make this group
unique. The quartet does not play songs or accompanies’ the leader alla a jazz-quartet, instead, they play compositions that incorporate all of the players. One part cannot be played without the other. All the music is through - composed with lots of room for modern improvisation. The music is written in such a way that one cannot tell the difference between the written composition and improvisation. Dom is a firm believer that when you have musicians of this caliber, use their talents and give them room to play.
And Play They Do!
In the years 2008-2009 The Dom Minasi String Quartet played once a month at The 5C Jazz Café in NYC. Performing steadily gave Dom the opportunity to compose and develop what is the groups’ own distinct sound.
One of things Dom enjoys, besides composing and performing, is to give the pieces unusual titles. Some of the titles come from a place that is so deep in his imagination that he has no idea what they mean. Sometimes the titles have the opposite meaning of what the piece is musically about: From: Dissonance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder liner notes – In Dom Minasi’s own words:
The Pasadena Two Step: This piece is written in ¾ time and is in no way related to California, or the Western dance known as the Two Step. I just happened to like the title. This is the opening piece and to me demonstrates what this group is all about, collectively and as soloists.
The Dark Side: This composition was originally recorded on the The Vampire’s Revenge CD as a jazz piece with guitar, bass, drums and guest artist Matthew Shipp on piano. I wanted to record it again with the string quartet because of the contrast and I knew the conception of the piece would take on a whole new meaning.
Green! Green! They’re Green! This is my salute to all the science fiction movies and UFO sightings and to all the little green men ‘out there’.
Dissonance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder: The title tells it all and it has
nothing to do with the less popular Mozart String Quartets, although he did
use dissonance and was ahead of his time,
Slow Dance In The Bottomless Pit: What I can I say? I must have been a dark moment.
Tumorology; is dedicated to Dr. Costantino, who removed a tumor from inside my nose. This was a very special tumor, because to this day the best doctors in the world haven’t been able to identify it. The tumor is in a jar being studied to find out from whence it came, and what it is. Who knows, maybe Little Green Men know?
Zing, Zang, Zoom! Is one of those titles that just came to me, but the piece has a pop to it that is clearly demonstrated in section B and the improvisation section