Utilizing SC Philharmonic archival recordings as well as new solo recordings by some of our musicians, InTune is a series of guided mindfulness practices with music that provides a gentle mental break to calm the spirit and refresh the mind. In these stressful, turbulent, and uncertain times, we aim to bring hope and joy to our community.
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Episode 5 - Meditation: Beethoven's 7th Allegretto
After a mindfulness exercise led by Dr. Frank Clark, hear an archival recording of the SC Philharmonic performing the Allegretto from Beethoven's 7th Symphony. This symphony was written between 1811 and 1812 in a small Bohemian (now Czech) town, Teplice, while Beethoven was improving his health.
May this mindful moment bring you inner peace and health, as well.
Episode 4 - Meditation: Bach Sonata and Koopman on solo violin
This episode is a special recording from Philharmonic violinist, Serena Scibelli. After a short guided meditation, Serena performs "a little song" by Kathryn Koopman and "Sonata for Solo Violin No. 1" movements 1 and 3 (Adagio and Siciliana) by J.S. Bach.
Interview with Music Director, Morihiko Nakahara, and violinist, Serena Scibelli about her performance for this episode of InTune
Morihiko Nakahara: Kathryn Koopman’s “a little song” is a beautiful miniature. How did this piece come about? (I assume it was written specifically for you.) Was it written before the current pandemic, or did she compose it during the shutdown?
Serena Scibelli: I have known Kathryn Koopman for years because I premiered one of her pieces, a beautiful duo for violin and saxophone. Her music is really special and I really liked to collaborate with her in the past. When the pandemic began, I made a call for collaboration on my Facebook and Instagram accounts, and she was one of the 10 artists who wanted to do something with me. This piece was thought to be one minute long (for social media shareable reasons), and to be related to the pandemic.
MN: It also seems like a perfect “quarantine” piece, as you’re playing all the parts yourself. Do you remember the state of your mind as you were recording the piece? If not, no worries; I’m just curious to know if/how the uncertainties of the world around us might have affected either musical or visual elements. Although the “InTune” series is an audio podcast, I would like to include a link to your YouTube video for our interested listeners, as the videography and editing are stunningly done. (YouTube link)
SS: I got the piece on April 3rd, I first approached it on April 4th and I immediately loved it. For me, it was an intimate, introspective experience. As I usually do with new compositions, I made a recording for practice reasons the first day, and I sent it to her by email, asking for comments.
During the same days, I was also collaborating with two other violinists and I could have recorded this piece with them, but I wanted it to be a piece where I was showing three different parts of my playing and my personality. That’s why I made a video with me in the darkness of my studio recording each part and overlying both parts and videos.
MN: Bach’s unaccompanied violin works are often considered some of the great musical monuments. Can you describe your personal journey with these masterpieces throughout your musical life thus far? Do you think your approaches to these pieces have evolved over time, and if so, how?
SS: I began playing Bach Sonata No. 1 when I was 15 years old, 20 years ago, while I was studying for my 10 years Diploma in Florence; I still play this piece and still discover new aspects of it. In these years I bought 4 different editions and I always tried to see similarities and differences.
I believe I grew up with it, it changed my way to play, it helped me shape my sound and my technique, especially because it was my first piece for solo violin. Bach solo sonatas are one of my favorite compositions to listen and to play. So simple and so complex at the same time, this sonata helped me explore and externalize my feelings.
MN: Can you share any insight into the two Bach movements you recorded (musical, personal, spiritual, etc.)?
SS: I try to imagine a story that goes through every composition I play, it helps me follow the music and the melody.
The Adagio for me is the life journey of a person. The childhood, with a lot of question uncertainties, that follows with the adult time with dissonances and difficult climbing that moves to the oldness time, where you can meditate, slow down, and peacefully look back.
Siciliana for me is a lovely and gentle dance. It reminds me of the warm sun of Italy during the summer, small courts, and beautiful small houses covered with colorful plants and flowers. When I play the Siciliana or any other dances, I always think of the rhythmic element of them, and I like to play it walking and dancing, in order to maintain the rhythmic importance of the composition.
MN: Anything you would like our listeners to know about what you have been up to over the last few months during the shutdown? Are you teaching online lessons? Any projects, musical or otherwise?
SS: For the first two months of the shutdown I felt it was important to make collaborations with artists of any kind and I feel very lucky for all I did. At the same time, the University of North Georgia where I teach violin, viola, chamber music, and music appreciation, went online.
From May I decided to take a break from social media and collaborations. I changed my daily schedule and began working on a big project that will see me recording an album of old and new music for solo violin.
I have been working on solo compositions for years, and I realized that this moment is giving me the time to focus on myself and to create something that I was waiting for for a long time.
MN: Anything else you would like to add?
SS: This is a beautiful project, I am happy and grateful to be part of it and to share music with you all. I really hope you will enjoy these pieces for solo violin. If something does not convince you, try to listen to it again and again, give it the possibility to communicate something deep and private to yourself.
If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to write to me, you can check and contact me at www.serenascibelli.com . Thank you!
Episode 3 - Meditation: Brahms' 1st Symphony, Mvmt. 2
This episode begins with a guided meditation and breathing exercise from Dr. Frank Clark. It is followed by a performance of the first movement in Johannes Brahms' 1st Symphony first presented in 1876. The SC Philharmonic performed this piece on March 10, 2018, at the Koger Center for the Arts.
Episode 2 - Meditation: Elgar's Enigma Variation "Nimrod"
This episode begins with a guided meditation and breathing exercise from Dr. Frank Clark. It is followed by a performance of the "Nimrod" movement in Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations composed in 1898-1899. The SC Philharmonic performed this piece on September 12, 2019, in memory of our violinist Timmothy Baker.
Episode 1 - Introduction
Music Director, Morihiko Nakahara discusses our new series, InTune, in collaboration with Dr. Frank Clark. Dr. Clark is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville and Medical Director and Division Chief for Adult Inpatient & Consultation-Liaison Services for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine with Prisma Health—Upstate.
Dr. Frank Clark and Morihiko discuss our new series InTune that combines mindfulness and mediation with classical music.