HOW do you prepare to play Morton Feldman’s complex String Quartet no. 2, which runs for over six hours?
Eat sandwiches, drink water and have a nap, members from Flux Quartet say.
The New York string quartet is in Bendigo to play at the Capital Theatre for the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music on Saturday night.
Before the show, members Max Mandel, Conrad Harris and Tom Chiu ate fruit and sandwiches, while Felix Fan was asleep.
“We try to fill up before because you can’t leave the stage once you are on there,” Mandel said.
“The night before the show, we try to get a good night’s sleep.”
Their pre-performance ritual also includes quiet time to focus and stretches.
“Playing for six hours is a mental challenge,” Harris said.
“Especially because we are still jet-lagged (the men only got into Australia on Wednesday).
"That adds another little challenge for us.”
Chiu said the first thing he does after the performance is ask what time it is.
“Our performance time changes every time," he said.
“Out quickest performance was five hours and 40 minutes, while our longest was about six hours 20 minutes.
“Small variations in tempo really add up over that amount of time.
“So you never know what time it is when you get off the stage.”
The free performance starts at 6pm.
Audience members are invited to stay for as little or as long as they wish.
“The piece is designed for people to be free to come in and out of it,” Harris said.
“Some people stay for the whole thing.”