Aurora Collaborative, the community music non-profit founded by Jamestown native Samuel Hollister, will offer the opportunity to experience a global sojourn of musical, visual, and poetic art in this public concert. The organization’s Chamber Orchestra will be conducted by Hollister and will perform nine selections of Scandinavian folk songs arranged by the Danish String Quartet. Three local artists – one multimedia designer, one poet, and one painter – will each present visual and poetic interpretations of three of the pieces, so that each of the movements of the orchestra’s program is accompanied by a visually immersive experience. Opening the program, veteran Aurora harpist s Alysa and Sarah Smith, a mother-daughter harp duo, will also perform several harp preludes.
The three artists collaborating with Hollister for the program, coupled with the Scandinavian origins of the music being performed, inspired the concert series’ title, A Nordic Triptych. Kaela Kennedy, who doubles as the designer on Aurora’s team, will showcase animated multimedia work for each of the first three pieces. Abigail Dufresne will return to the Aurora stage as poet for the fourth, fifth, and sixth pieces; her text will also be interpreted visually by Kennedy.
Finally, in his second collaboration with the non-profit, talented local artist, composer, and teacher Antonio Forte will return to offer a visual backdrop to the final three movements of the program. While Forte is no stranger to the juncture of music and visual art, he commented that the opportunity to collaborate visually with a live performance “is a meaningful experience.”
“It’s refreshing not just painting a painting and putting it in a gallery for people to walk by and perhaps say, ‘Oh, that’s nice,’ but to have the chance for it to be a part of something that’s bigger than itself. It’s important to me as a musician, because it’s like I’m part of the orchestra. I’m contributing to the overall aesthetic experience of the audience, as well as that of the other musicians and artists involved.”
This type of collaboration, combining music, visual art, and written word in performance and uniting musicians with writers and artists, is familiar to audiences of Aurora’s past events. Previous series, such as Brahms and Poetry, Symmetry and Tradition, Reflections, and Illumination have all placed cross-disciplinary collaboration at the center of the organization’s mantra.
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