Monday, May 25, 2020

Allegra and Sara Make a Music Video

Pianist Allegra Chapman (above left) and soprano Sara LeMesh were music students at New York's Bard College together, and both of them are unusually intelligent and gifted artists who have been gracing the small stages of the Bay Area for the last three years. Their latest collaboration is Chordless, a piano-vocal duo specializing in adventurous music, and this Friday they are launching an online premiere of a music video. The moderator of the video/Zoom webinar will be Kate McKinney, SF Ballet public relations person extraordinaire and a close friend of both artists. Following are her preview notes for the event.

On Friday, May 29 at 5 pm, Chordless — the duo comprising pianist Allegra Chapman and soprano Sara LeMesh — will present a music video of The Night in Silence Under Many a Star from George Crumb’s Apparition. Filmed in February in Marin, the video portrays LeMesh and Chapman as friends who have been parted by death, grappling with their respective realities among redwoods and the golden coast. The video’s premiere is hosted through Zoom and is followed by a moderated Q&A session with the creative team. The event, which is free and will last around an hour, will address what it takes to create music in the digital world, from technical and theoretical standpoints, and is designed to be informative for professional musicians and amateurs alike. Registration is available via Eventbrite (click here).

Allegra Chapman writes: "It is wonderfully liberating to experiment with expressing music in a completely different way from anything I learned in school. We created a narrative for the final movement of Apparition, taking inspiration mostly from non-classical music videos. We don’t play visibly at all in the video and depict a story on top of the musical narrative. I really have to thank Sara for the push to try something new. I have no idea how to critique what we’ve all created, and also no idea how to anticipate how others will critique it. All of these unknowns bring up new "performance" fears for me. All I know is that this video expresses something I feel I need to express at this moment in time and that I want to share it with people. Sometimes I wonder if those urges aren't the most important elements of making art anyhow!"

Sara LeMesh writes: “This music video is one of my favorite projects to date. I really believe film and classical music go hand in hand and can’t even think of a movie without a classical piece playing in at least one scene. While performing a work like Apparition live is rewarding, the audience can only grasp one part of the performer’s interpretation. It was so fun to create a narrative that illuminates the meaning of Walt Whitman’s poetry, beyond what a live performance can do. I hope people enjoy this format and I can’t wait to work on another music video in the future.”

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