The trailblazing duo of Kimberly Patterson and Patrick Sutton are champions of the budding cello & guitar genre of chamber music. The Patterson/Sutton Duo and composer Stephen Goss have worked together over many years and this album represents the fruits of their musical collaboration. This collection of Goss’s complete works for cello and guitar is a kaleidoscopic journey through the evocative sound world of this instrumental pairing. It represents a substantial contribution to the standard cello and guitar repertoire by one of the guitar world’s most sought after composers.
Today, the Patterson/Sutton Duo are our featured artists in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to discover where this husband-wife duo differs when it comes to choosing their ideal creative locale…
Who was your first favorite artist(s) growing up?
Patrick: Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Radiohead, Julian Bream and Led Zeppelin.
Kim: Yo-Yo Ma!
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
Kim: I always viewed myself as a cellist but my summer studying with the Principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, William Stoking, when I was 14. I was in awe of him and his playing. He was such a nice man and took me under his wing. Lessons with him were not only cello lessons but also life lessons that motivated me to really become an artist.
Patrick: I wanted to be a professional guitarist since before I ever picked up a guitar, at about the age of 9. My playing style of my favorite genres has changed several times over the years but my love for playing the guitar never changed.
What was your most unusual performance, or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?
Kim: Most unusual – playing at the Canadian embassy in Kabul Afghanistan. Most embarrassing – nothing yet!
Patrick: Most unusual – same as Kim! Playing the Canadian Embassy in Kabul. Most embarrassing – when I was a part of a multimedia concert involving dance, video and many other musicians and my iPad (which I was reading the music from) stopped working and the entire thing had to stop because of me… Mortifying!
What is your guilty pleasure?
Kim: Musically – 90’s rap.
Patrick: Unfortunately, I just can’t help but enjoy the Goo Goo Dolls every time I happen to hear them. Shameful, I know…
If you could make a living at any job in the world, what would that job be?
Kim: Exactly what I’m doing now – making music with my husband, playing concerts and teaching. I’m incredibly fulfilled.
Patrick: Same!!! Performing and teaching all over the world and traveling with my amazing wife! It’s perfect.
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Kim: Florence, Italy. Patrick and I got engaged there so it holds a very special place in my heart. But also, it is an art mecca!
Patrick: I find London to be endlessly inspiring. I would love for us to live and work there for a year at some point.
If you could instantly have expertise performing one instrument, what instrument would that be?
Kim: The accordion. I love the accordion!
Patrick: I would love to play the cello. I guess that’s why I married Kim!
What was your favorite musical moment on the album?
Kim: The part where Patrick and I are in complete unison towards the end of “Beirut.” I love it!
Patrick: I love “Color” the entire final movement of Still Life. I love the 7/8 groove and prismatic harmonies. One of my favorite pieces to perform, as well.
What does this album mean to you personally?
Kim: Evolving artistry. Patrick and I are always pushing our craft and this album was an incredible collaboration between Steve Goss, the Clyfford Still Museum and our duo. We worked hard to interpret the pieces in a very personal way and I think the album reflects that.
Patrick: We love Steve Goss’s music and we are so excited to present this collection of his cello & guitar music. We think that it can be an important touchstone for wonderful new cello & guitar repertoire. We absolutely love the combination of cello & guitar and we try our best to continually push the genre along by highlighting and commissioning new music by our favorite composers. I think we’ll be proud of this album for many years to come.
Is there a specific feeling that you would like communicated to audiences in this work?
Kim: The intimacy of conversation. The cello and guitar combination is so varied – it’s delicate, rich, warm and yet explosive. We want our listeners to enjoy that beautiful and exciting variation of communication.
Patrick: That the sound world of these two instruments is versatile and varied. That the guitar can not only balance well with the cello but can also flourish. The cello has been hiding in plain sight as the guitar’s very best chamber music partner. Together, they can create worlds of warm, languid lyricism, while also being capable of boundless fire and rhythmic excitement. I hope that audiences will connect with the beautiful folk music influences of the Welsh Folksongs, Motherlands, and The Autumn Song, while also reveling in the myriad artistic influences that shaped the forward looking Park of Idols and Still Life.