Bond girls shaking, stirring music world

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Bond girls shaking, stirring music world

Jean-clad women coyly playing string instruments. Grand music echoing through the hall of Seoul Arts Center. Walking out of a concert to the sight of beautiful mountains. Who could ask for anything more?

The Bond Quartet - part vixens, part musicians, but entertainers through and through - will kick off its Asia tour with a concert in Korea on Wednesday. If its reputation is any indication, the concert will be more like a rock show than your typical, sedate classical performance - bright lights, big time fans, and even bigger music.

The quartet looks like classical music - Haylie Ecker on first violin, Eos Chater on second violin, Tania Davis on viola and Gay-Yee Westerhoff on cello - but it is classical music with a punch. Their first album, "Born," made it to No. 2 on United Kingdom classical musical charts, only to be derided as "not classical enough."

Kicked off the classical charts, Bond went straight to the U.K. pop charts where it made it to No. 36. In other countries, including the United States, Austria, Holland, Chile, Australia, Turkey, Italy, France, Bulgaria and Switzerland, the dames Bond top classical charts.

But after listening to "Born," the raised eyebrows of classical purists is not a surprise. "Victory," loosely based on the first five notes of Rossini's "Barber of Seville" overture has a remix version - which sounds (eyebrows raised) suspiciously like a dance number. The same - danceable - could be said about "Winter."

Egads. Is it classical or not? According to Bond members Ms. Ecker and Ms. Davis in a phone interview, their music, except for "Quixote," is original. They perform with the sentiments of a pop show and they want to explore film music and chill-out electronica sounds. That may not sound classical, but they are keeping the genre up to date.

IHT-JAI: What is your music about?

Ecker: We're not trying to reinvent classical; we don't take ourselves that seriously. Most people think of classical as music of the past. But it's great stuff. Maybe people don't know it. Maybe Bond will be a stepping stone to turn on a whole new people to classic music.

IHT-JAI: The four of you came together under Mel Bush, who also launched Vanessa Mae into stardom. What keeps the Bond women together?

Ecker: We believe in what we're doing and we're having fun. There's also so much potential to what we can achieve. Our music has no language barriers.

IHT-JAI: You are as famous for your fashion statements as you are for your music. What will you be wearing for your concert in Korea?

Ecker: I'm a jeans queen.

IHT-JAI: When did you realize Bond might be it?

Davis: Our first major concert was at Royal Albert Hall in London almost two years ago. We were relatively unknown, but our concert sold out. It inspired us.

IHT-JAI: What is Bond's next project?

Davis: We've already recorded demos for out next album. We're one-third of the way done.

IHT-JAI: Your favorite Bond?

Davis: Sean Connery. Definitely.

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by Joe Yong-hee

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