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A Tale of Two Clarinetists (One year later)

One year ago, a Spanish clarinetist from Asturias reached out to me on Instagram asking me if I wanted to collaborate with him on an online project. His name is Rodrigo Orviz and we both went to the same orchestral training academy, "The Orchestra Now"at Bard College. Although we had never met before, I already felt like we were clarinet "hermanos," because we had many friends in common (The music world works a little bit that way). I graduated from Bard the year after Rodrigo arrived.

This was in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, just two weeks after France announced a nationwide lockdown and many countries followed thereafter. I was confined in my small studio in Paris at the time (I know, sounds fancy.) but trust me it wasn't so great. Many French people travelled home to the countryside to confine with their families. I was afraid that if I took the next plane home, I wouldn't know when I'd be able to back to France. And I was hopeful that the pandemic was only going to last for a few weeks. (!) Anyway, my studio is just a small room with a sink, and I couldn't leave the building for almost three months without first filling out an "attestation," essentially a permission form to go outside under special circumstances (to get groceries, to go to the pharmacy or the hospital, for example). Cultural and athletic institutions cancelled their seasons, schools, bars and restaurants were closed, social gatherings were forbidden, and we didn't know what to do. Everyone was confused and in fear. We couldn't buy masks yet. I made a mask out of scissors and a t-shirt from a Youtube tutorial. The lines at the grocery stores were insane. We weren't allowed inside anywhere except a few people at a time.

This was a very scary time where the world was frozen in time, waiting to see what would happen next. I kept practicing even though I had no foreseeable concert. It helped pass the time, and I am very grateful for that. Every evening at 8pm, everyone opened their windows, cheered, applauded, and smacked spoons on pans, making noise to cheer on the medical staff on the front lines of the pandemic. Musicians started playing concerts from their windows. Music was what kept many people from losing hope, including myself. Many musicians took their concerts online, either streaming from home or collaboating with people around the world using audio and video editing software to make it seem like we were together. This is one of the results from this moment in time.

I am very grateful that Rodrigo reached out to me, because I had no idea how to even begin splicing two audio and video tracks on editing software. Besides that, I had a lot of fun exchanging ideas, getting to know eachother, and recording this track from each of our homes--myself in Paris, Rodrigo in Asturias. It's crazy how even under these circumstances musicians find creative ways to come together and still make music. We love to perform and share our art with the world.

This is a Colombian duo called, "Tu Bambuquito" by Mauricio Murcia. I hope you enjoy!


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