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With Serenade Dúo - Portraits in Times of Pandemic

Guitarras Alhambra asks Alhambra artists from all over the world what they think and how this pandemic has affected their lives.

Interview with Serenade Dúo

1. How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your artistic activity?

Like so many artists for the time being our life performing scheduled is on hold. But in an effort to stay creative and optimistic we are now active teaching virtual lessons and classes as well as getting involve online performances. We are focused on the many positive opportunities that have surfaced from this unusual situation. Artists always need to communicate and create and now we are doing so through the virtual world rather than physical contact. Some of our musical opportunities we are playing at Festival in Puerto Rico in June is only now moved to the virtual world. We are still playing the festival but we won't be there physically but rather we will shoot from our studio here.

2. Now that we all have to adapt and reprogram ourselves to this situation, in what new projects are you working on?

To help keep ourselves motivated we are continuing to explore new repertoire. Looking at new pieces, has always allow us the wonderful power of individual practise time and time devoted to working as an ensemble. We are hoping many of these new pieces will turn into future audio and video recording projects. Some of the material we found includes compositions by Roberto di Marino, Ernesto Cordero, and Michelle Kirchner. In addition, with this any time I’ve been able to conclude some projects that I have started a long time ago, a full transcription of Bach's first Cello Suite as well as two fantasias for solo flute which I adapted for solo guitar. We are also happy to be working with several educational Partners in particular USDAN summer camp for the Arts really to help students be motivated and engaged in music during this challenging time.

3. In what positive way do you think this situation is affecting the society and the planet?

I see this as an opportunity for perhaps a global reset. Something of a change all of us to do the small things daily that have to build a more meaningful life hopefully leading to our kinder world. And really this idea of we are all in this together is providing us an opportunity to be kinder more mindful, grateful, and thinking about what is really most important in life for all of us.

4. What hobby or other activity have you started doing that you did not have time for before?

Well, for us being stuck at home is not a terrible hardship. We are somewhat self-described as homebodies. We are coming up on our 29th wedding anniversary in May, and our music studio where we are presenting from here today, it is as a separate building on our property so it's dedicated to lessons recording, creation and we are accustomed to working from home, or at least part our career. We are accustomed to set up from the home studio here. Well, the funny thing is with all of the adjustments to being online musicians I feel like I don't really have any extra time I don't know how that has happened. But in all seriousness, we are lucky that we get to do what we love for a living and it really just continues to be a joy and whatever the circumstances. We are finding time for really good dinners so we're cooking up a storm and really enjoying that time together as well as a little more gardening and most of all getting to spend more time with our beloved rescued dog Madeline.

5. What would you advice to artists and art lovers in general to focus and be positive on this global stage that we are going through?

I would say to enjoy the time with your loved ones while we're in this quarantine. When you get a chance, get outside, enjoy some fresh air and try to find inspiration to the natural world. I would say to also try to find something to be grateful for every day. As artists we have the very special gift of having music as a constant in our life. It's important to remember whatever form music takes that it does make the world a better place so keep practicing, creating and stay hopeful.

6. After the coronavirus, do you think we will have learned anything and changed our lifestyle?

I believe that we will absolutely recover from this with a new found appreciation for our friends, for our family, for connecting with people and when we once again can truly touch humanity, when we can play for you in front of you rather than through these lens the I think we will all create quite a beautiful sound. I think Humanity will be changed for the better making us Kinder better listeners and just generally more appreciative to the beauty of life. May we all stay healthy, optimistic, and creative.

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