Tandem Duo is an internationally recognized percussion and violin duo located in the Phoenix area. In addition to regularly commissioning new works and performing established works for the ensemble, Tandem Duo creates arrangements of older works, writes original compositions, and composes and performs live original scores for theatre. They specialize in writing and performing in a variety of styles and genres where they incorporate extended techniques to expand the sonic palette. During performances Tandem Duo breaks down the fourth wall and incorporates comedic elements and audience engagement to create a full audience experience. Tandem Duo works actively with artists from other disciplines to create cross-collaborative performances. They work closely with directors, producers, actors, dancers, poets, filmmakers, and other musicians to make meaningful and engrossing artistic works.
In September 2016 Tandem Duo presented the international Kondo Festival, a week-long event consisting of performances, master classes, composer talks, and meet and greets centered around the music of Japanese composer, Kohei Kondo. They commissioned several new works for the festival, and presented additional world premieres of his pieces. Tandem Duo is a Resident Artist Group at Tempe Center for the Arts and in March 2017 they wrote and performed the live score to TCA’s production of playwright Neil LaBute’s Some Velvet Morning. Through TCA they curate performance events, most recently presenting a performance for International Women’s Day combining the talents of local female poets with local female classical musicians. They have performed with fellow Resident Artist Group, Conder Dance, and have an ongoing collaboration with EPIK Dance Co.
Tandem Duo works closely with The Bridge Initiative, and in September 2017 they collaborated to produce The Bechdel Test Fest. In March 2018 they performed their live original score for a reading of Sarah Ruhl’s Dear Elizabeth during The Bridge Initiative’s “In Her Voice” series. They are currently working with the founder of No Festival Required to create a series of short films to be performed with live score, and perform regularly as a group and individually in the Oh My Ears house band. In January 2017 they performed on the OME New Music Marathon Concert at the Mesa Arts Center, and they will be returning as the headlining artists for the 2019 OME New Music Festival.
In 2016 Tandem Duo presented a University tour and were guest artists at Sam Houston State University, California State University, Sacramento, and Southern Oregon University. They do an annual summer tour in Colorado, during which they released their debut album, Bars and Bows, in 2016 and their sophomore album, Velvet Scraps, in 2017. They recorded their third album, Dear Elizabeth, in May 2018 and will release it during their 2018 Colorado Summer Tour.
Tandem Duo’s violinist, Dr. Sarah Off, is the founder and Artistic Director of the Mt. Blanca Summer Music Conservatory where Tandem Duo’s percussionist and Marimba One Artist, Dr. Marilyn K. Clark Silva, serves as a faculty member. The Conservatory is part of Tandem Duo’s ongoing educational outreach endeavors and goal to bring music and music education to underserved and underrepresented rural areas.
Tandem Duo has been interviewed on KBACH, PBS Arizona Horizons, KRZA – Colorado/New Mexico, and KCME in Colorado Springs.
When not performing or teaching Sarah and Marilyn volunteer in animal rescue and spend most of their rehearsals cuddling their own rescue puppies.