There's no mistaking when Alecia Lawyer zooms around your part of town. Her mommy SUV is branded with license plates that announce the whereabouts of the fierce leader of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra — known as ROCO, rhymes with loco, to the cool kids.
Lawyer, the sounds of her revolutionary ensemble to be exact, has gone digital and mobile.
ROCO recently launched an online platform where anyone can listen for free and purchase tracks of live recordings for 99 cents and full-evening concerts for $9.99. Using players from SoundCloud, a social media service where anyone can upload, record, promote and share audio files, ROCO's freshly pressed Listening Room seizes the excitement of the concert experience, captured by Houston Public Radio KUHF/KUHA and edited/produced by Andrew Bradley.
"The reason why people love coming to our concerts is the people playing in the orchestra. To our audience, it matters who we are as individuals — in and outside of music."
Included in the inaugural collection are Rossini's La Scala di Seta Overture, in which Lawyer double tongues the crap out of that perky oboe riff, Kodaly's colorful Dances of Galanta, conductor Mei-Ann Chen's take on Martinu's Toccata e Due Canzoni, principal cellist Richard Belcher's expensive rendition of Haydn's Cello Concerto in C major and the world premiere of Shepherd School of Music Anthony K. Brandt's Maternity: Women's Voices Through the Ages, a collaboration with Renaissance man David Eagleman.
There are many more selections in ROCO's new ROCOreplay cyber store, going as far back as November 2005, the group's opening season, when principal flutist Christina Jennings shined with Griffes' Poem for Solo Flute and Orchestra.
"ROCO is all about the musician-audience connection," Lawyer says. "The reason why people love coming to our concerts is the people playing in the orchestra.
"To our audience, it matters who we are as individuals — in and outside of music."
That's why Terri Golas, ROCO's general manager, created ROCOringtones, a collection of seven clips (49 cents each or $1.99 for the set) designed for fans on the go that also highlight former concertmaster Brian Lewis, percussionist Matt McClung and clarinetist Nathan Williams.
What's next? ROCO car horns? ROCO washing machine beeps? ROCO email sending whooshes? ROCO fire alarms?
Whatever is on tap, surely it will make for a more mellifluous world.