Page 4 - PhilConnectionsMagazineFeb2021b
P. 4

A Walk with

                                      Steven Karidoyanes

                                      Conductor & Music Director

                                               I have been pondering a quote I read recently by Albert Einstein.  “Your
                                               imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
                                               What a concept!  If Einstein’s quote is true, with my history, I fear I am
                                               woefully deficient in the imagination department.

                                                  •   Years ago, as a young musician, I wrote all of my music with pencil,
                                                    on paper. I couldn’t imagine then I’d be composing full orchestral
                                                    scores now on a computer.

                                                  •   While growing up we still used rotary-dial telephones.  Back then
                                                    I thought it was miraculous to receive long-distance calls from
                                                    family members in Greece. Who could imagine we’d each now have
                                                    a mobile phone in our pockets with the power of a supercomputer
                                                    and the ability to connect to an unimaginable worldwide internet?  I
                                                    certainly couldn’t.  Oh!  …and that mobile phone could make phone
                                                    calls, too.
                                      Fast forward to just last year.

                                       •   Who could imagine we would become so reliant on teleconferencing software?
                                          Zoom? Isn’t that what toy cars do?  {{{Zoom-Zoom!}}}

                                      Whether we like it or not, the current pandemic forces us to adapt and utilize tactics
                                      we couldn’t imagine a year ago.  For example, since April, I have been leading weekly
                                      virtual rehearsals of my New England Conservatory Youth Symphony via Zoom.
                                      Virtual rehearsals are poor substitutes for actual in-person rehearsals – but they
                                      have become vital points of connection for our students.
                                      I mention this adaptive tactic because, in January, the Plymouth Public Library
                                      hosted me in a special music presentation.  It’s one I give from time to time titled
                                      “Your Symphonic Companion,” a guided tour of sorts on how to better enjoy
                                      orchestral music. In my view, no one should feel any intimidation entering a concert
                                      hall. So, with the help of a few listening points, my goal for this presentation is for
                                      participants to emerge empowered to explore this genre of music on their own.

                                      On this occasion, however, the library event would be different for me.

                                      I had always given this talk in person.  This was my first time offering “Your
                                      Symphonic Companion” via Zoom. It took some effort but I adjusted the props,
                                      mostly recorded music samples and teaching slides, and hoped my newly reworked
                                      materials could keep people interested and still make the learning part fun —
                                      despite the lack of in-person energy.

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