Dear SOTM Family
Bristol, TN March 23, 2020
Dear SOTM Family.
I would like to take a moment to reach out to you and thank you for everything you are doing for our organization throughout the years. Each one of us contributes a part to what makes SOTM outstanding. Please know that I am very thankful to all of you, and that I am very proud to be a part of this family!
It is sad that we had to cut our season short, but instead of mourning what we did not have, I keep thinking about all the great concerts, events and friendship we were able to experience again this year.
While a lot of people work around the clock right now, all of my concerts for the rest of the season have been cancelled, and I have more time at my hands than I had since I got out of school. Time to calm down, time to think, time to take care of others.
This crisis forces us to go back to more essential things, and to evaluate what is important and dear to us. Below I would like to share some music that has given comfort to me.
For me going to the mountains is essential. Climbing a mountain and then hearing Alphorn music from far away has something very calming and comforting.
- Alphorn Music from Switzerland: Duo Rauschhorn
Yo-Yo Ma’s interpretation of the Bach Cello Suite Prelude is one of my favorites. Listening to it and watching his official video clip gives hope that humanity will actually learn from this crisis, move closer together and help each other.
I strongly believe that music and other art forms are and will be crucial to help us through and beyond this crisis. Yo-Yo Ma in his video says the following: “Culture –the way we express ourselves and understand each other- can bind us together as one world.”
- Bach, Cello Suite No. 1 in G major: Prelude. Yo-Yo Ma, official video.
These difficult times with us being isolated, force us to figure out what is essential. I personally have time to enjoy nature, to find joy in the song of a bird, in the newly growing leaves of a tree, in the grass starting to turn green. Little things on this earth that we often times just run by without even seeing or hearing because we are so busy.
Here a song by my dear friends the Kruger Brothers. A Swiss group who lives in NC and plays a fusion style of music.
- Kruger Brothers: Beautiful Nothing
We keep talking about how music can bring us together and how music can be a healing force. In Italy where things are very difficult and rough, people are using music to help them feel more connected. The principal viola player from La Scala in Milano giving a concert from his balcony for all his neighbors is only one example. In addition, the communities agree on a time to all go on their balconies to sing together. One of the songs they selected is by Antonello Venditti: Grazie Roma.
“Tell me what makes us feel friends, even if we don’t know each other. Tell me what makes us feel united, even if we are far away. Tell me what it is that beats strongly at the bottom of the heart, that takes our breath away and speaks to us of love. Thank you Rome that makes us cry and embrace each other again. Thank you Rome for making us live and feel like a new person again.“ Maybe a love song to our favorite city, town or place would be good.
- Antonello Venditti, Grazie Roma
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 was premiered at one of his most successful concerts to benefit soldiers wounded in the battle of Hanau a few months earlier. The enjoyment of the event was hardly surprising given what most members of the Viennese audience had been through during the preceding decade. Napoleon’s occupations of Vienna in 1805 and 1809 had proven traumatic, but the tide had turned with the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. In June, the Duke of Wellington was triumphant against Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s younger brother, in the northern Spanish town of Vittoria, and within the year the Congress of Vienna was convened to reapportion Europe in the aftermath of France’s defeat. After so much conflict and misery, impending victory could be honored and celebrated.
At the world premiere and at later concerts the second movement had to be repeated because the applause would not stop. This is another example of a most beautiful melody that does not need a lot of bombastic sounds but is just gorgeous in itself.
- Beethoven, Symphony No. 7: Movement 2
And then there is the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. A Dance, a Celebration of Life, a Firework of Joy. Let’s remember that this crisis will eventually be over and Life in a better, more connected and more loving way will be back.
- Beethoven, Symphony No. 7: Movement 4
And if you have half an hour to give uninterrupted attention to a piece of music, please listen to Arvo Paert’s Tabula Rasa, which SOTM performed last fall. Sit in a place you love and just let this music lead you through a prayer or mediation.
- Arvo Paert, Tabula Rasa
I wish you courage, strength, and good health!
Keep the Music playing!