Vijay Gupta

Violinist. Speaker. Advocate.

Blog
May 24, 2020

Solitude/Isolation

There are many ways to be alone. 

Gupta…is one of the most radical thinkers in the unradical world of American classical music. With Street Symphony, he has created a formidable new model for how musical institutions should engage with the world around them. – Alex Ross, The New Yorker

Handel's 'Messiah,' on Skid Row

What’s Next

Vijay Gupta is represented as a speaker by the Lavin Agency.

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Vijay Gupta believes that the work of the artist and citizen is one:

To make a daily practice of the connected, creative, and courageous world we long to live in Hailed by The New Yorker as “a visionary violinist…one of the most radical thinkers in the unradical world of American classical music” Vijay is an esteemed musician, speaker and thought leader, serving to create spaces of belonging, healing and wholeness through music.

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October 13, 2018

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October 5, 2018

Washington Post: The violinist for LA’s skid row wins a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant

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Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
— Rumi

And now we continue.
We build.
We cry and breathe our broken Hallelujahs.

Lenson Productions and I made this a few weeks ago at All Saints Church, and now is as good a time as any to breathe a "Hallelujah" into the world. Grateful, as always, to Reena Esmail, Composer for this gorgeous arrangement.

youtu.be/LGGFHeZY5uM
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Video image

Comment on Facebook Leonard Cohen's ...

So beautiful, Vijay. And so appropriate to this moment in history.

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Over the last few weeks, I've been repeating one word to myself (besides "vote"): breathe.

This album is an offering, and a reminder to do the most natural thing our bodies know how to do. Take a moment, listen, and be nourished.

spoti.fi/2JlS7W5

Excited to share this new album of Reena Esmail, Composer's music for piano, violin and cello with Suzana Bartal and Peter Myers, recorded at University of La Verne by Lenson Productions.
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“...I opened up my message by saying, “Is there something that had happened in your life, that you know only God could do that?” ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
So, he said, “You were talking directly to me.” And I said, “Wow.” And so, that night, he said, “I’m gonna make a commitment to start walking with God.” And I said, “Cool.” And two weeks after that, he died across the street. ⁠⠀
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So, for me, I’m not telling anybody to believe what I believe, but for me, I believe he set his destination straight, and I believe God gave him the opportunity to do that. ⁠⠀
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But the fact that he had to die across the street because of the temperature because they said he was too cold, couldn’t wake him...and the fact that we couldn’t, we didn’t have the means to help him, and the fact that some people don’t even want him because they’ve been beaten, trauma, they’ve been beaten down, trauma, trauma.⁠⠀
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That, too. And sometimes, we beat ourselves…”⁠⠀
Pastor Cue Jn-Marie, from the @lapovertydepartment “Walk the Talk” Archive⁠⠀
***⁠⠀
The work of @lapovertydepartment creates a “sacred text” of the everyday lives of the Skid Row community of Los Angeles - a community that was the source of inspiration for a collaboration with @kronos_quartet for @CAP_UCLA #TuneIn Festival, which is streaming until December 6 - link in bio. ⁠⠀
#creativesadhana⁠⠀
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#fbf to the 1995 @billboard awards, with @coolio and #steviewonder.⁠⠀
Yes, I did indeed take #gangstasparadise to one of my first ever violin lessons at #juilliard. A video does exist somewhere on the internets - let the googling begin!⁠⠀
Happy weekend, everyone!⁠⠀
#creativesadhana⁠⠀
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We cannot consume our way into wholeness. We are already enough. ⁠⠀
***⁠⠀
Bach: Ciaccona from the Partita in D minor⁠⠀
#creativesadhana⁠⠀
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An artist’s roadmap: ⁠⠀
1. Be curious: follow the questions, especially if/when they terrify you. ⁠⠀
2. Listen without judgment: the first thing that emerges is fear. Don’t turn away. ⁠⠀
3. Tell the truth: more specifically - be in the current of truth. What is true today may be the inverse of what was true yesterday. It’s OK. Nothing/everything is right/wrong. ⁠⠀
4. Keep going. ⁠⠀
***⁠⠀
Looking forward to speaking @salemstate next week on the role of music to build bridges and heal our world. ⁠⠀
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Photo: @bawdenka ⁠⠀
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#creativesadhana⁠⠀
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There’s a blaze of light in every word. It doesn’t matter which you heard - the holy or the broken Hallelujah. - Leonard Cohen⁠⠀
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I’ve played this glorious arrangement of “Hallelujah” by @reenaesmailcomposer for a few years now, and was so grateful to record it at All Saints Church in Pasadena a few weeks ago. ⁠⠀
You can watch the full video on my YouTube page (link in bio). ⁠⠀
#creativesadhana⁠⠀
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This is totally my kinda feast! (That look on my face is pure #joy.)⁠⠀
Nothing like @suratifarsanmart in #Artesia for a long overdue fix of some of my favorite #desi food: #dosa #sambar #chaat #kachori and #tepla!! They were beautifully set up for social distance dining - definitely check them out! ⁠⠀
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#fbf to a stranger’s perfectly timed snapshot at the @tate in #london last March, 2019. Clearly @lesjeunesguns had said something perfectly outrageous. ⁠⠀
#everythingisgoingtobealright #happyweekend⁠⠀
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Catch the last movement of @reenaesmailcomposer Piano Trio, streamed by @thewallisbh today at 5pm PST! So excited to be joined by the amazing @petermyerscello, in conversation with Reena, myself, and Paul Crewes, Artistic Director of The Wallis. ⁠⠀
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Video: Esmail, Piano Trio, Movement 3 with Peter Myers and @suzanabartal⁠⠀
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Process over product; products are temporary. Creating the path is lasting. ⁠⠀
Systems over goals; systems create a framework to achieve multiple goals. ⁠⠀
Intention over perfection: knowing why you’re aiming for something is more important than ‘doing it right’. ⁠⠀
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Photo: @bawdenka⁠⠀
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For every true statement there is an opposite one that is also true; that language and the confines of time lead people to adhere to one fixed belief that does not account for the fullness of the truth. - Herman Hesse⁠⠀
***⁠⠀
I love this segment of this fugue from the Sonata in C Major: just a few measures before this descending pattern, Bach marks “al riverso” in the score, taking the primary motive from the beginning of the movement and turning it on its head - a new fugue composed in inverse. ⁠⠀
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Much of the artistic process involves taking an idea and turning it on its head - wondering, examining, questioning all possible perspectives. The truth is found in the balance of it all - and then again, it is not one single truth as a fixed idea, but as Hesse says, a fullness of the truth. ⁠⠀
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I’m bringing back red suspenders. ⁠⠀
(Also, check out that killer bow-hold! #proudsuzukikid)⁠⠀
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"The lamps may be different, but the light is the same." - Jalal al Uddin Rumi
***
Celebrating #Diwali is an acknowledgement of the light - and the dark - within each and every one of us.

We are not perfect. We're not demons, either. All we have before us is the choice - which side will you feed?

May we pay attention to what we pay attention to, illuminated by the light within.

May we remember that although the lamps - the vessels, the words, the bodies, the perspectives - may be different, we are inherently one people. One voice. One love.

#creativesadhana #happydiwali #light
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Today at 5pm (PST) The Wallis Presents⁠⠀
STREAMING SERIES: REENA ESMAIL’S PIANO TRIO⁠⠀
Movement III⁠⠀
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Until then, please enjoy this clip from movement 1 of Reena's Piano Trio from October 29th. Register for tonight's stream at @thewallisbh and catch up on previous concerts on their YouTube channel. ⁠⠀
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@suzanabartal @petermyerscello @reenaesmailcomposer
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“Our hunger to belong is the longing to find a bridge across the distance from isolation to intimacy. Every one longs for intimacy and dreams of a nest of belonging in which one is embraced, seen, and loved. Something within each of us cries out for belonging. We can have all the world has to offer in terms of status, achievement, and possessions. Yet without a sense of belonging it all seems empty and pointless.” ⁠⠀
John O’Donohue⁠⠀
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Photo: @bawdenka ⁠⠀
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MacArthur Photo Credit: John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation