The Chamber Project at Soultrap Bar

The Chamber Project
The Chamber Project

In the heart of the Surry Hills, Soultrap is an underground bar with only a neon “s” sign out front. This drinking den is unique and offers seasonal cocktails, Australian beers, wine and live music entertainment.

Soultrap partnered with The Chamber Project, a unique ensemble of talented musicians who will (if you enjoy classical music) take you on a journey and tell a story. Evan Streater on piano and creator of the group. “Based on my own feelings that sharing music should be an enjoyable, relatively stress-free experience for the performers and that listening to live classical music doesn’t mean you need to be deprived of other comforts”

The other musicians in the project are, Glenn Christensen (violin), Caroline Hopson (violin), Nathan Greentree (viola) and Heather Lindsay (cello).

With the dim lit setting and mood of the bar, it almost felt I was in a private concert to a select few listing to music written by Shostakovich (Piano Quintet in G minor Op.57), Sibelius (Five piece violin and piano Op.81) and Mendelssohn (String quartet in E minor Op 44 No 2)

The experience: $79 per person, includes table seating, two cocktails and three substantial canapes, including a salmon & kingfish ceviche (which I thought was a little to salty for my liking), pissaladiere and Brazilian steak sliders (this didn’t last long and it was the bomb).

Getting to the know The Chamber Project

It was a hard question to ask, as we all have different tastes. What classics do you enjoy playing as a group?

I think we can all agree that we’re extremely diverse in what we enjoy, in that we play music from the 17th century right up to contemporary. As a pianist, I enjoy the Brahms and Mendelssohn piano chamber music. Ravel, Shostakovich, Beethoven also all wrote some really fun stuff. There’s so much!

What could we expect for the next performance?

The next performance is a String Quartet, so essentially the same instruments as this event, minus the piano. It’s shaping up to be a really cool program actually, and we’re looking to incorporate some Danish folk tunes, which is real feel-good music.

For those who are new to the ‘classic’ world, what’s one music piece would you recommend someone to listen at least once?

This is also tricky! I’m going to stick to music that we can actually program, since we’re not an orchestra. If it’s just one piece, probably the Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata, particularly the 3rd movement, which is incredibly moving and the most balanced between the two instruments. Listen to the entire work though, which has 4 movements and lasts for about 30-35 minutes.

Soultrap Bar

Owners Travis Goddard and Elliot Cryer background are not what you would expect – as both serving in the Royal Australian Navy. Mates from the high seas, their dream was to own their very own bar. The French-inspired bar still has elements of its previous owner, Christophe Lahoux where their are hats in cases on show. Lahoux was an amateur milliner (hat maker), we he crafted sunhats, fedoras and others.

The Surry Hills precinct is known for trendy local restaurants and bars, although I do believe their should be more venues for live music, not just your vinyl DJ spinners.

Music brings people from many different walks of life. Music is not only entertainment, but it’s also about creating a memorable experience, and telling a story.