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Life & Arts

'A celebration of our planet': Austin Camerata presents the multimedia chamber music performance 'Blue Planet'

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Austin Camerata

“Austin Camerata is all about expanding the audience for classical chamber music,” says Daniel Kopp, “You know, a lot of people have a perception of classical music and chamber music as a dead or dying art form, and we want to showcase how live and vibrant it is, and how much of an important role it can play in Austin, Texas’ community.”

Kopp, who’s a cellist and the artistic director of Austin Camerata, says the new show Blue Planet is in keeping with their stated mission of keeping chamber music alive and relevant in today’s world. “It’s all about showcasing how classical music has a role in reflecting on what’s going on in our lives today,” he says.

Blue Planet will be a multimedia show, featuring not just the music of Austin Camerata’s festival string orchestra but also visual design by Jesse Easdon and art by Zaria Forman. Kopp says the visuals and music will work together to create an experience that “reflects on the origins of the universe, our place in the cosmos, and Earth’s precious landscapes.”

While that could make for a somber think piece, Kopp says the mood of Blue Planet will be more hopeful and uplifting. “We really wanted this performance to be a celebration,” he says. “A celebration of our planet, a celebration of life, a celebration of our existence and sort of the miracle of what that entails, as a way of inspiring people to want to preserve and protect the places around our globe that are fragile and that are under threat.”

Kopp says the interweaving of visuals and music will be a new and evocative way for Austin Camerata to connect with their audience. “It’s really a powerful experience to get this simultaneous visual and powerfully emotional musical effect,” he says. “It really creates a mesmerizing experience. And the art we’re doing with Zaria Forman – her landscapes are going to be projected onto the ground where the orchestra is standing, as the orchestra plays music by Takashi Yoshimatsu called And Birds Are Still. So you’re going to see landscapes from Antarctica and Greenland that the orchestra is literally immersed in, so you feel like you are there, transported through the music.

“I’m hoping that audiences come away feeling an inspiration to want to get involved with our local community,” Kopp says. “And so we’re actually partnering with TreeFolks, which is Austin’s nonprofit urban reforestation program. And so we’re hoping that our audience will learn a little bit about TreeFolks and want to get involved.”

'Blue Planet' will be performed May 12 and 13 at KMFA’s Draylen Mason Music Studio, and ticket prices include pre- and post- show cocktails.

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