In this week’s program, Strings Music Director Michael Sachs has curated past Strings Music Festival performances to expand your mind and soothe your weary soul. Selections range from spine-tingling piano solos to a meditative composition for percussion performed at The Tank, Northwest Colorado’s one-of-a-kind sound space.
Famous musician Billy Joel has said, “I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity.” Seeing the humanity in each other is an essential part of sharing music. In this episode, relax to a soothing soundscape of strings, piano, and percussion from works by Claude Debussy, Joe Tompkins, Arvo Pӓrt, and Gustav Mahler. We recommend looking at the stars while you listen to Episode 4.
Meet your host, Music Director Michael Sachs.
@1:00 Jamey Lamar reflects on meditation, or meditates on reflection. How do musicians listen to their music to understand?
“[Mindfulness] is opening yourself up to the world, truly, by stopping all of that inner noise. The same can be true when we stop to listen to a piece of music.”
@04:56 Jump to the Debussy, performed by Joyce Yang
@08:18 Percussionist Joe Tompkins talks about composing for a place as unique as The Tank, and the experience of driving hours through Colorado to arrive at the one-of-a-kind recording space.
“In my opinion it was like walking into Mad Max beyond the Thunderdome, and saying we’re going to record a piece here in the middle of the desert. You kind of expected Mel Gibson to come around the corner in a crazy truck.”
@13:18 Jump to 4Round
@23:06 Did you know Arvo Pärt combined numerology and harmony? Vijay Gupta, violinist and founder of Street Symphony, discusses the form of the piece, which is “a kind of musical miracle … that fluttering light that is constant in all of us, all the time.”
@26:35 Jump to the Pärt, performed by Vijay Gupta and the Strings Festival Orchestra
@37:57 Michael Sachs’ favorite piece of music ever written: Mahler’s Adagietto movement in Symphony No. 5.
“Being married to a harpist … I always take this moment to reflect on our many years together, how much we’ve shared, and like this is my love letter to my own wife.”
@39:38 Jump to the Mahler, conducted by Brett Mitchell and performed by the Strings Festival Orchestra
DEBUSSY Préludes - Book 2, No. 5, Bruyères
Joyce Yang, Piano
Performed at Strings Music Festival in 2016
Marc Damoulakis, Percussion
Jeremy Epp, Percussion
Joseph Tomkins, Percussion and Composer
Kevin Watkins, Percussion
Performed at The Tank in Rangely, CO in 2018
PÄRT Fratres (for Solo Violin, Strings, and Percussion)
Vijay Gupta, Violin
Strings Festival Orchestra/Michael Sachs, Conductor
Performed at Strings Music Festival in 2017
MAHLER Symphony No. 5 IV. Adagietto
Strings Festival Orchestra/Brett Mitchell, Conductor
Performed at Strings Music Festival in 2018
About Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado: Strings Music Festival presents music of the highest quality in an intimate mountain setting. Our summer festival includes a genre-spanning lineup featuring classical musicians from the nation’s top orchestras and chart-topping popular contemporary artists, all of whom perform in an intimate, 569-seat Pavilion nestled at the base of Steamboat’s mountains. Outside of our venue, we serve the community with a variety of free programming and an in-school education program called Strings School Days. This offering cultivates music appreciation and ability in Northwest Colorado’s K-12 students.