A musical journey inward
by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
As a music critic writing for The New York Times I’ve attended a lot of concerts. Sometimes 100 a year, spanning a dazzling variety of styles and periods, performers and venues. Most of the time, my attention was focused on the musicians and what and how they were playing. That was my job, after all.
But in December 2018, I attended a concert that directed my focus inward, onto the process of listening itself. The event, at Princeton University, invited audience members to take part in a short guided meditation practice at the beginning of the recital. When the music began, it unfolded inside a space of such concentrated silence that the sounds rang out in brilliant clarity. I remember the uncanny feeling that the music was coming from inside of me, that the barrier between me and not-me had dissolved — advanced stuff to a novice meditator like me.
Tomorrow (Thurs, July 30), the Fourth Annual Chamber Feast streams live from Caramoor. Showcasing alumni of the Evnin Rising Stars mentoring program in chamber works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Shulamit Ran, this marks the latest in a series of on-site, professionally filmed concerts streaming live from the historic Rosen House Music Room. The livestream series forms part of Summer 20/2.0, Caramoor’s flexible new summer program, which also features Concerts on the Lawn: live, public, open-air concerts for small, socially distancing audiences. This Saturday (Aug 1), Charles Turner & Uptown Swing kick off the series on Friends Field. Offering an upbeat evening of swing, bebop, and blues, their performance will be filmed for streaming on Sunday (Aug 2).
Rain dates: Concert on the Lawn Sun, Aug 2; delayed stream Mon, Aug 3.
London-born Anna Clyne (b. 1980) is a Grammy-nominated composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music, combining resonant soundscapes with propelling textures. She’s collaborated with cutting-edge choreographers, film-makers, visual artists and musicians, and her works are performed throughout the US and around the world. Recent honors include commissions from Carnegie Hall, Southbank Centre, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, and the Houston Ballet; performances by BBC Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic; and residencies with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestre national d’Île-de-France, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
The Future of Live Music
With the rise of the Coronavirus Pandemic, we have been forced to retreat into the safety of our homes (for those of us who are able to), and limit our social gatherings and events. This has turned the world we were accustomed to upside down, trading lunch meetings with Zoom meetings, and Friday nights out with Friday nights in. As we struggle to adapt to what most are calling “the new normal,”musicians struggle to adjust to a world without live music.
Live music has had a strong foothold in society, helping to define generations. Without this outlet, musicians and fans alike have stormed the internet to both create and digest content that cannot be consumed in the same manner as pre-pandemic times. Musicians have been forced to greatly adjust their tactics and methods of creation in order to answer the one major question plaguing musicians and artists alike: “How do we convey the same feeling of a live show to a virtual audience?” While there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction, many musicians have taken on the challenge in order to continue the process of creation and consumption.
Both Vilray and Chris Thile, musicians slated to perform this summer at Caramoor, happily shared their own experiences navigating the pandemic-altered music industry.
Listening to History in Shirley Graham’s 1932 Opera Tom-Tom
by Lucy Caplan
Ten thousand spectators came on the first night; fifteen thousand more on the second. They filled the stadium on the lakefront, marveling at the multi-tiered stage, the elephant that lumbered across it, and the thirty-foot waterfall towering above. As the sun set, a light rain began to fall. Its rhythmic patter merged imperceptibly with the sounds emanating from a battalion of percussion instruments. Four soloists and a chorus of hundreds appeared. Their voices guided the audience out of the drizzly present – Cleveland, summer, 1932 – and into the sweeping epic of Tom-Tom, the world-premiere opera unfolding onstage.
Due to the extension of New York on PAUSE, no work on the campus renovation projects were undertaken at Caramoor until the end of May 2020. However, this provides us with an opportunity to let you know about the exciting work that had been taking place off-campus on a key new piece of the Friends Field and Venetian Theater entrance landscape — a signature piece of sound art by Trimpin, in“C”.
From the Archives
by Christopher Thomas, Archive Coordinator
Caramoor’s Archive Coordinator, Christopher Thomas, dug deeper into his research on Walter Rosen and shares a fascinating new account of Walter’s family.
The Thalea String Quartet Returns to Caramoor.
By Chris Witley, violinist of the Thalea String Quartet
By mid-March, with engagements postponed, flights cancelled, and forecasts for the future of live performance ranging from a bump in the road to something resembling a zombie apocalypse, the Thalea String Quartet faced the same uncertainty as every musician, ensemble, and arts organization in the world. When will we next see the inside of a concert hall? When will people feel safe enough to come to a live performance? How will we reach people with our art when we can’t even leave our own homes?
After 11 long weeks of sheltering-at-home, Westchester County finally began Phase One of reopening last Tuesday. Hopefully, this means that we can start dreaming about live concerts soon. (Caramoor would love to welcome you later in July!) So, we’ll wrap up our review of home performances by Caramoor artists from the “Music Never Sleeps NYC” livestreamed marathon with these four contributions.