A picture is worth a thousand words, but music is worth a thousand emotions. We were so moved by these words in direct response to recent acts of violence, terrorism and social injustice written by Michael Fernando (Instagram @moveitlikef3rny) that we wanted to honor it with this video. His words so precisely capture the role music plays in our humanity.
We hope you enjoy Shostakovich's Prelude arranged for Cello and Viola.
Produced and performed by Nathan Chan and Michael Casimir.
Special thanks to Michael Fernando, Maddie Tucker and Mina Kim for making this project possible.
"To watch the human body be destroyed is to be made aware of the fragility of our anatomies; that blood is composed of not only the chemical elements of life, but also the collective knowledge and labor of entire families; and also, that the vessel can be cleaved and its contents returned to the soil.
It also fills us with otherworldly rage. Rage that thrives on our pettiness, on generalization, on suppressing the diversity of possible questions, and on deference to hurried answers. We thrash and grope around blindly for justice, for freedoms that we, so disillusioned, are uncertain even exist.
But of course there are different kinds of freedom. And so as many of us huddle around the warmth of music in times of tragedy, it is important for us to also recognize the real-life, functional value of our musicianship: the learned freedom of choice. To choose to remain disciplined and mindful. To choose the sound of the band over the sound of our instrument. To choose to do the difficult but necessary work of continuing to listen to our peers through passages of both harmony and dissonance.
Everything can be taken from us but this most important of human freedoms, and it is for that reason that we must never relent in its exercise."