On That Note: Musician Relationships

Dec 4, 2017

Every month cellist Robert Cohen talks about his life as a professional musician in a segment called On That Note. The conversations range from how to travel with a cello to how to best memorize music, and a wide array of other topics that explore what it means to work as a musician. 

For this month's conversation, Cohen was joined by one of his colleagues from the Milwaukee-based Fine Arts Quartet. Violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez has been playing with Cohen in the group for five years. The FAQ announced its final season in residency at UWM earlier this year and although the quartet will continue beyond its connection to UWM, both Cohen and Hernandez will move on to other projects.

While the two will no longer be playing together as members of the FAQ, Cohen says they have "quite a lot of things" they're already working on. During their time in the quartet, the cellist and violist have forged a strong, musical bond that unites them as musicians. They describe it as "breath[ing] the same way." 

"When you suddenly feel in the music you want to add some more passion or you want to take something and become more delicate, that's a spontaneous thing that you don't always plan. And when the other person does it in the same way, [at] the same moment, you realize that they have the same sense of what the music really means and that's very unusual," says Cohen. 

"Yeah, that is. That doesn't happen every day," Hernandez agrees. "And whenever they add something different - it's like being in the kitchen. You find someone you love cooking with because they do it the same way as you and that makes you feel comfortable... But then you see them doing something differently, but the result of it is even better than what you usually do. So that's a plus."