Rachel Golub, violin
Lorenza Ponce, violin
Martha Mooke, viola
Leah Coloff, cello
Martha Mooke, Founder/Music Director
Scorchio is eternally grateful to our muses:
Tony Visconti, David Bowie and Philip Glass.
Hailed as a cutting edge electro-acoustic string quartet known for its artistry and eclecticism, Scorchio made it’s debut at Carnegie Hall performing with David Bowie in the 2001 Tibet House Benefit Concert produced by Philip Glass. Scorchio has performed at Carnegie Hall with Glass, Smith, Lou Reed, Trey Anastasio, Iggy Pop, Michael Stipe, Beatboxing legend Rahzel, Sturgill Simpson, Flaming Lips, Vampire Weekend, Regina Spektor, David Byrne and many others including Tibetan musicians Tenzin Choegyal and Techung.
Following their Carnegie Hall performance with Bowie, which included Philip Glass on piano and Moby on guitar in stirring renditions of Bowie’s Heroes and Silly Boy Blue, the legendary singer invited Scorchio into the studio to play on his 2002 release “Heathen” produced by Tony Visconti. They joined Bowie again at Carnegie Hall that year in a landmark performance of Space Oddity conducted by Visconti featuring the double string quartet of Scorchio and Kronos Quartet, with Beastie Boys Adam Yauch on bass. Their 2003 appearance at the Tibet House Benefit included performances with Bowie, Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright and Ziggy Marley and marked their official status, along with the Patti Smith Band, as the “house" band at the annual event.
Scorchio performed a sold out show with Phish frontman Trey Anastasio at Princeton’s Richardson Auditorium leading to the release of “Trey Anastasio and the Scorchio Quintet: Live from Princeton", available on LivePhish.com. The quartet has also recorded with Ziggy Marley, Angelique Kidjo, Linda Thompson, Dean and Britta and Charlie Winston.
Equally at home in Carnegie Hall or New York City nightspot The Cutting Room, Scorchio has appeared at Madison Square Garden with the British Pop band Blur and in front of 80,000 fans at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and the Governors Ball with Blur/Gorillaz lead singer Damon Albarn. They joined Albarn on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, as well as radio shows for Sirius XM and WFUV.
As a Quintet (with added bass), Scorchio’s concerts include their unique arrangements of the music by the artists they have performed with, including Trey Anastasio’s epic “Divided Sky” and Lou Reed’s “Ecstasy”. Scorchio members Martha Mooke, Leah Coloff and Gregg August have also contributed to their repertoire.
Scorchio has premiered works by composers of many genres including Tony Visconti, Joel Thome, Rahzel, Earl Rose, Alicia Svigals, Richard Sussman, and Anthony Cornicello. The quartet is featured in the award winning documentary “Inside the Perfect Circle: The Odyssey of Joel Thome” performing Thome’s mandala based work CeEsEs.
Scorchio was founded in 2001 by Violist/Artistic Director Martha Mooke.
L to R: Rachel Golub, Lorenza Ponce, Martha Mooke, Leah Coloff.
Onstage at Bonnaroo with Damon Albarn.
Scorchio in the Press
"The Scorchio Quartet, a classical string quartet that’s developed a reputation for playing with unclassical artists such as Trey Anastasio, Damon Albarn and David Bowie, enhanced most of these performances. Their arrangements were subtle, rarely calling attention to themselves, but they’re the crux of why all this music – from Tibetan chants to foot-stompin’ Celtic jigs to metamodern country music to heart wrenching Flaming Lips performances – came together so dreamlike." - http://thefutureheart.com/2015/03/06/tibet-house-2015-flaming-lips-patti-smith-miley-cyrus/
"Some of the most intriguing music emerged from the background. Smith and her band's cover of the Yardbirds' "For Your Love" featured Lenny Kaye singing over the low hum of monk chanting, and the Scorchio String Quartet amplified every performance by balancing elaborate orchestral swirls with unsettling moments of staccato thunder." - Patrick Flanary, Rolling Stone
"House string quartet Scorchio held onto the compositional twists and sudden halts tenaciously. … Rahzel, the beatboxer, came out to offer his interpretation of The Lord Of the Rings score, followed by the endearingly game Scorchio quartet..." - Jayson Greene, Pitchfork
"Composer Philip Glass served as concert’s emcee, artistic director, and curator. He introduced the Scorchio String Quartet. The group has played the benefit concert for 13 years with artists ranging from David Bowie to Vampire Weekend to the Kronos Quartet. Glass explained that in earlier years they performed just a couple of songs, but now they have become the concert’s house band, hardly ever leaving the stage." - Sydney, Linked Music
"This chamber music group was clearly not just a randomly thrown-together group of rock-minded string players occasionally renting themselves out to whatever pop star wanted to pimp out his/her sound with strings. Their blend was impeccable, never overusing vibrato, and really knowing how to bring certain parts out that complemented Trey’s lead while also setting back and providing a homophonic base for Trey’s melodies." http://smoothatonalsound.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/chamber-trey/
"The Scorchio String Quartet played “Quantum” by the quartet’s leader and violist, Martha Mooke, with songful melodies accompanied by tremulous chords and Asian-flavored glissandos." - Jon Pareles, NY Times
"On "I Would Be Your Slave", music and lyric collide to create arguably the most impressive track on all of "Heathen". The Scorchio String Quartet's rendering of Visconti's arrangement is faultless." - Review of David Bowie's "Heathen" CD from Peter Kearns, Misfit City