Cram together a waltz à la Bill Monroe with a Norwegian wedding march, mix in some 2 and 4 and add a bit of improvisation and a post-something classical style. Now you have an idea of one QQQ tune.
QQQ is comprised of two married couples and three New Amsterdam ensembles. Dan Trueman plays the Hardanger fiddle, a folk instrument with a set of five sympathetic steel strings that lend it a bright, ringing timbre. He is joined by his wife Monica Mugan on classical guitar (who along with Trueman forms the group Trollstilt), driving the tunes forward with fingerpicked patterns. The viola of Beth Meyers, from janus, merges with Trueman’s fiddle to add dark, lustrous counterpoint to the bowed string textures. Her husband, Jason Treuting of So Percussion, rounds out the quartet with imaginative, propulsive work at the drumkit. About its name, the group will say only that the last ‘Q’ stands for ‘quartet,’ and the others “don’t stand for words that start with ‘q.’” The music of the artists’ individual ensembles has been described as “fresh and surprising music” (Splendid Ezine on Trollstilt), “brilliant” (the New York Times on So Percussion), and “polished to perfection” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer on janus).
QQQ has been recounted as “literally brimming with fresh ideas” by Hank Shteamer of Time Out New York, who caught the group at New Amsterdam’s CMJ showcase. The quartet’s NewAm debut album Unpacking the Trailer… has been praised for its eclecticism by Sic Magazine, called a “peculiar yet glowingly warm effort” (Time Out New York) with “limpid and lapidary” melodies providing “the sensation of a subtle and complex journey” (The Big City) and "love pouring out of every note” (The Silent Ballet). The track “Spring” was selected as “Pick of the Week” by USA Today, where the piece was called “beguiling.” The album was also positively featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition.