Cricket and Snail debut


Photo by Kimberly Williams

On Sunday, August 30, the duo Cricket and Snail performed in St. Luke’s Chapel. Cricket and Snail is composed of Professor James Carlson, a accordionist, and his wife Lucie, who is a violinist. The couple performed demos from their upcoming CD, which is titled Street Symphonies. They performed some of the symphonies on the streets of Prague, which attests to the versatility and jovial quality of their music. The tracks they have recorded include five symphonies which they have arranged for the violin and accordion. Other tracks on their CD are street themed as well, such as “Pigalle,” “Der Gasn,” “Theme for Mon Oncle,” and “Raglan Road.” One of the most delightful aspects of the concert was the variation of the songs that were played, which included Irish pub tunes, French street themes, a theme from the film Mon Oncle, and a particularly pleasant rendering of Feierlich, from Mahler’s 1st Symphony. The versatility of the duo was proven by Professor Carlson’s’ singing ability, which was layered over the songs. Mrs. Carlson’s violin was also very pleasant because she was able to chirp along on tunes while also possessing a strong sound herself. One of the most interesting pieces that the Carlsons played was “Feierlich,” from Mahler’s 1st symphony. Professor Carlson explained that the third movement is a funeral march for a fallen hunter. The piece was inspired by a woodcut by Moritz Schwind, which depicts animals mourning the loss of their protective hunter. The tune itself for the 3rd movement was derived from the recognizable children’s rhyme “Frere Jacques,” which was changed to a minor key in the symphony. Then the song transitions to a Klezmer dance, which points to Mahler’s Jewish upbringing. Cricket & Snail performed this song with a very somber opening, yet made the transition to the dance with a very jovial and spirited duet. If you would like to help fund their CD production costs and get a copy of their CD in the process, you may visit