A chamber orchestra hopes to bring something new and old to audiences in Santa Monica this weekend.
Silicon Beach Chamber Orchestra kicks off their 2019 Chamber Music Series with a concert at St Paul Lutheran’s church this Sunday, January 13. The goal of these shows, the Orchestra says, isn’t just to entertain, but to broaden audience’s horizon’s while also developing a respect for the classics.
“The purpose is to integrate the European classical music with music or art that showcases some of the local flavors,” Ting Li, Music Director Silicon Beach Chamber. “So we might have Klezmer, Chinese, or Japanese groups to open the concerts and then play classics for the second half… It’s a powerful way of bringing together cultures and generations.”
This weekend’s concert will feature several different compositions via many different instruments, the highlight of the evening being an improvisational segment performed by pianist Feng Bian.
“He will pick up notes from the audience and make it his own work,” Li said. “It’ll sound incredible.”
Li hopes the Orchestra’s repertoire can bring in crowds young, old and in between. The idea to clash styles in a concert with a small, experimental orchestra was born three years ago in Georgia.
Li says she had a much smaller version of the orchestra in her head, a small group of classically trained musicians bouncing between genres. While Georgia provided Li with a well-established music community, she wondered, why not take this idea West?
“I didn’t know many people in LA,” she said. “But I’ve always wanted to promote local arts. Chinese music, some new blood, new style of music… I wanted this chamber to play classical music and new-concept music. We’re in LA. There ’re film composers, jazz musicians, conservatory musicians…I wanted to bring that together.”
She began to meet like-minded musicians and eventually became acquainted with the Silicon Beach Arts Council, who provided her a database of musicians to contact.
Still, she needed a space where herself and the orchestra could practice. A friend recommended St.Paul’s Lutheran Church in Santa Monica. Not the most conventional choice for an experimental orchestra, but as it turns out, a house of the holy that lifts the voices of worshippers is a perfect space — acoustically — to perform.
“I’m amazed by the sound and how it projects in the building,” Li said. “The color of those sounds is incredible.”
Silicon Beach Chamber Orchestra had a few shows late last year to gauge community reaction, and while audiences are still finding the orchestra, the ones who have experienced a performance are enthusiastic.
“We’ve had around 50ish people each time, but each person was so curious afterwards,” Li said. “About the different instruments, curious about the musicians… We would say that makes this a success.”
For more information, visit http://siliconbeacharts.com/