March 20, 2014 | 8:01 a.m.
As a classical-music ensemble with a sterling critical reputation and a flair for the contemporary, the Los Angeles-based Calder Quartet is used to playing at some of the most prestigious concert venues around the world. On a recent winter morning, however, the musicians were in a modest studio in a not-so-glamorous stretch of Glendale dominated by shabby industrial warehouses. Passing freight trains emitted a repetitive ka-chink as they moved through the area on rusty tracks. Inside, a rhythm of a different sort was at play. The quartet was recording (and re-recording… and re-recording) a staccato passage for the soundtrack of the Starz drama series “Da Vinci’s Demons.” Leading them from the podium was the series’ Emmy-winning composer Bear McCreary. The 35-year-old McCreary demanded the musicians repeat the passage several times, suggesting slight changes in their interpretation with each take. “Maybe […]