Salastina Announces Virtual Happy Hours, Performance Videos, And New Digital Commission
Salastina Artistic Directors Kevin Kumar and Maia Jasper White have created several musical offerings for virtual audiences to connect with each other and the ensemble during the COVID-19 pandemic. Salastina developed these initiatives after surveying their audience about what they would most like to experience. Like Salastina's regular season programming, each program takes an inquisitive approach towards beloved classics and new works.
Weekly on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m., Salastina will host a virtual happy hour featuring the ensemble's resident artists and special guests. Coming up on Tuesday, April 14th, Salastina resident flutist Ben Smolen will host a garden party-themed happy hour and give a live streamed performance of old favorites, original arrangements, and his first-ever original compositions.
On Tuesday, April 21st, violinist Zeneba Bowers and husband and cellist Matt Walker will perform from their terrace in Soriano, Italy, as part of a music series they launched for their neighborhood during the current quarantine. Zeneba and Matt moved to Italy shortly before the pandemic. You can read about their story here. People can join these events by sending an RSVP to Salastina through the contact page on their website. A zoom link and password will then be sent to each person.
Digital Performance Videos
Salastina will be sharing short performance videos via their social media channels and e-newsletter. Maia Jasper White and Kevin Kumar will perform Telemann's Six Canonic Sonatas, as well as the second movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony. The first Telemann sonata was shared on Wednesday, April 8 and will continue weekly on Wednesdays thereafter. The bigger ensemble pieces will be shared two to three times a month.
"We've chosen Telemann not only for the ingenuity of craft here, but also because we wouldn't know of his music today if not for the tragedy of World War II," says White. "There's something inherently comforting about anything that reminds us that beauty can be born of tragedy."
World Premiere Commission
Salastina has also commissioned composer Reena Esmail to write a piece to be virtually premiered in August. The development of the piece will happen virtually as well; every few weeks, Salastina's resident artists and members will convene with Esmail via digital platforms to talk about the shape the piece is taking, play excerpts, and collaborate on its progress.