“Hello Gwendolyn! This is Etienne. We are two violinists traveling and performing for employees of organic farm and wineries,” read the text. Friends of mine told Etienne I helped harvest grapes at Clos des Amis Winery on South Mountain above Santa Paula in Ventura County’s Heritage Valley. “Maybe we could join too, play, capture some images? We make videos of our encounters and about the craft and life of the artisans we meet.”
What would you do as a violinist if a pandemic cancels your concerts? Buy and renovate a 1971 VW bus, take your show on the road, of course, and make videos!
At least that’s what Los Angeles based violinists Etienne Gara and YuEun Gemma Kim decided to do. And now their 14 episode series Delirium Musicum’s MusiKaravan is nominated in the category “Best Streaming Series 2020-2021” in this year’s Audience Choice Awards of the San Francisco Classical Voice! And I’d like to encourage you to CAST YOUR VOTE HERE so Delirium Musicum’s MusiKaravan will win!
“Delirium Musicum won this award in 2019-2020 for “Best Early Music/Baroque Performance”, and to be nominated again, this time with such an important project as MusiKaravan is a beautiful sign of recognition for something that took our hearts and lives for 1 year, more so, a very special and unique year that changed our lives,” said Etienne Gara in a recent email. “To be nominated with MusiKaravan is particularly beautiful because it was such a bet for Delirium Musicum to start this project against all odds, but its humanness and artistic meaningfulness was specially important during these times of hardship, where music can make a difference in accompanying, bringing comfort to people, and bring them together in unprecedented times.”
The MusiKaravan project, continued Etienne, “turned a challenging moment into beautiful human connections and discoveries beyond all possible boundaries like social, cultural, religious, ethnic, and beyond. Music was the element to made this experience possible, and that brought so much preciousness to each interaction that was made possible through this journey.”
Here’s an early teaser (much of it produced in my driveway!) featuring video from that fateful day when we met in September 2020:
It’s important to violinists Etienne Gara and YuEun Gemma Kim that they share their journey with as many people as possible, because they want to inspire people beyond the limits of geography.
“This is how we got into filming our adventures,” reported Etienne. It took them five months to edit the fourteen videos that make up the first season and which have been presented by The Soraya, where Etienne has been named Artist in Residence. “We hope our story can inspire others to reach out to the people that populate the world with us. There are so many beautiful things to share, and it’s amazing to learn about other customs and traditions.”
MusiKaravan’s story has been picked up by many NPR stations and media outlets, and this is hopefully just the beginning of a long and inspiring journey.
Here’s the finished episode from the day we met: