Vijay Gupta - Violinist, #violinist, renowned speaker and philanthropist, and founder of Street Symphony has released his first solo album. Vijay plays on a 2010 #violin crafted by #violinmaker Eric Benning. Purchase his CD here:
“When the violin
Can forgive the past
It starts singing”
What story are you still holding onto, which prevents your heart from singing its truth?
#WhenTheViolin is now available for pre-release on @Bandcamp.
“This Sonata was the first unaccompanied work for violin I ever learned. There would be no accompanist, no orchestra, no collaborative relationship onstage. Sei Solo. When young violinists first encounter what the violinist and composer George Enescu called the “Himalayas” for violinists, we ...are often inducted into a formulaic, armored approach to this music: Bach doesn’t bleed.”
From my liner notes for #WhenTheViolin: in my approach to this Sonata of Bach, I looked for the blood. I looked for a different way to play Bach - to find the humor, the love, the flightiness, the loss, and the dance. #WhenTheViolin is now available for pre-release on @Bandcamp.
I play differently for the people I love. I play differently when my playing is received with love - when my playing is received as an offering to open our perspectives and experiences to something greater than ourselves. The old conditions of 'perfect' go out the window when the ...intention is connection. In fact, the work before us may be to lean into the fractures, to embrace what is broken, and to make something new.
I made something: friends, I'm so thrilled to share my debut solo violin album, "When the Violin", which is available for pre-order Bandcamp today! This work has been building throughout the months of quarantine - combing my practices together into a form which I can actually share with you all. The album starts with Reena Esmail's "When the Violin", based on the eponymous poem of the Sufi mystic, Hafiz.
This album is dedicated to people in reentry from incarceration: my main audiences, along with you who have generously followed my journey on social media, have been people in reentry from life sentences in prison.
The album will be released in full on July 9 on Bandcamp, and in the meantime, I'll be sharing clips and glimpses of the process.
Of the many performances of Take What You Need, very few of them have been in traditional concert halls. Most performances have taken place in jails, homeless shelters, support groups, schools, memorial services, places of worship — in places where people can gather to see and honor the humanity ...in one another.
In 2015, I asked Reena Esmail, Composer to write a work for Street Symphony, which could bring musicians and our audiences at places like The Midnight Mission and the LA County jails together in the course of an event - an anthem for Skid Row and our work there.
Reena spent months working closely with a choir which met at a clinic in Skid Row, getting to know the stories of people who had experienced pain and loss, but who chose to see the world through possibility and joy.
As I saw the work take shape, it became so clear that we - the performing musicians - needed the words of “Take What You Need” just as much as everyone in our audiences. We need to take hope and heart, to take a chance and a step, to take pride and pause, joy and breath.
Take a moment
Take a breath
Take a step
Take a chance
Take a stand
Take a moment
Take a breath
Take what you need
Vijay Gupta, Violin
Directed by Louis Ng, Lenson Productions
Filmed at All Saints Church, Pasadena in September 2020