Revien is a contemporary chamber ensemble consisting of three members of the acclaimed Georgia Guitar Quartet, with Phil Snyder on cello, Kyle Dawkins (Maps and Transit) on guitars and electronics, and Brian Smith (The Odd Trio) on guitars and electronics. All graduates of the University of Georgia School of Music, the trio embraces the classical repertoire, and draws from the energy of rock and pop music as well. As accomplished composers, the members also have written a number works that are incorporated into their programs. Playing in a collection of Athens bands throughout their 17 years together, the trio is equally at home in rock and chamber music lineups, and creates a compelling program for audiences, incorporating modern tech and prepared enhancements on their instruments -- you might hear guitars and cello used as percussion, or guitar strings fitted with found objects to sound more like a sitar or an Indonesian gamelan, for instance.
The trio is regularly featured on NPR’s “Performance Today” with their live rendition of Grizzly Bear’s “Foreground” remaining an audience favorite. Their albums reflect a broad range of repertoire including the 2013 release “Live at Ramsey Hall,” which features works by artists as far reaching as Portishead, JS Bach, and Gabriel Fauré, among others. A forthcoming February, 2015 album consists of all original compositions by the members.
Recent festival and collaborative highlights throughout the South include appearances at the Slingshot Festival of Music, Electronic Art and Technology in Athens, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. Revien also has collaborated with a wide variety of instrumentalists and performing artists including Indian Veena virtuoso Naranyan Muralikrishnan in a performance with the University of Georgia’s ARCO Chamber Ensemble, celebrated Athens musicians Don Chambers, Kyshona Armstrong and Athens-by way of Indonesia-inspired Our New Silence. In addition, Revien has collaborated extensively with the nationally known aerial arts destination Canopy Studio, performing alongside trapeze and aerial artists in a variety of productions. Highlights include Brian Smith’s musical staging of “Icarus,” to the Vampire-themed collaborative production “High Stakes” featuring Revien performing the music of Arvo Part.
The name of the group is taken from the text of the first piece the band played together, the art song “After a Dream” by Gabriel Fauré. Revien is related to the idea of “coming back” or “returning,” reflected in Snyder’s return to his first instrument, the cello, as well as the group’s return to its roots performing a wide assortment of musical instruments and styles. Good music, after all, transcends genres, styles and classification.