Toada e Desafio by Arthur Barbosa. Virtual Performance of the Ballard Chamber Orchestra and the Seattle Pacific University Orchestra (January 2021)
[0:05] Christopher Hanson: Greetings from Seattle Pacific University. My name is Christopher Hansen and I have the privilege of serving as the director of music education and orchestral activities at SPU. This video is the result of an extraordinary collaboration with the Brazilian composer, conductor, and violinist Arthur Barbosa, the Ballard High School Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Miss Elizabeth Fortune, and the Seattle Pacific University Orchestra. This virtual performance of Arthurs Barbosa’s “Toada e Desafio” is a part of the SPU virtual Concert of Hope. When the global Covid-19 pandemic began affecting our community in the spring of 2019, we appropriately responded by physically distancing ourselves. As you can imagine, this made our traditional methods of rehearsing and performing together impossible. Although we were physically apart, however, we knew we needed to stay connected spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. Thanks to the creativity, innovation, resilience, talent, and resources our student musicians have offered this project, we are able to realize this extraordinary music from Northeastern Brazil virtually. Before we listen to the performance, let’s hear from the composer and from Miss Fortune about the music and our collaboration.
[1:33] Arthur Barbosa: Greetings. I’m Arthur Barbosa, a Brazilian composer, conductor, and violinist and I’m here to talk about my piece for strings “Toada e Desafio.” This work was composed in 1997 and has already been played in more than eight countries. It represents a tribute to the Armorial movement. Such a movement was an artistic initiative that emerged in the 70s whose objective would to be create erudite art from elements of popular culture in north east Brazil. The piece is divided into two sections: Toada, which is slow and melancholy signaling a wide and isolate scene, in the east of Brazil. Right after that comes Desafio, which is a Baião, Brazilian rhythm, which is in this case, comes from our Repent form, a way of playing characterized by a musical duel between the performing parties that culminate in a short coda that reaffirms the festive nature of the people of the northeast. I thank Professor Christopher Hansen for his interest in sharing my music with his students, and with the world over the internet. Thank you very much.
[3:06] Elizabeth Fortune: Greetings. My name is Elizabeth Fortune, and I’m the director of orchestras at Ballard High School in Seattle, the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, presented all teachers in Seattle Public Schools with the largest challenge of their lives: beginning a school year remotely from home. One large challenge in this situation is creating an atmosphere of orchestra instrumental music instruction while students are working from their bedrooms at home. We were presented with a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the SPU orchestra as directed by Professor Christopher Hanson. This experience was such an enriching learning adventure for the students in the Ballard Chamber Orchestra and I. We were able to dig into the idea of Brazilian folk music and we were able to dig into some extremely challenging and very advanced techniques that would have been challenging and advanced even if we were sitting together in the rehearsal room in person. I would like to commend the students in the Ballard Chamber Orchestra for their outstanding work in preparing this music and I would like to thank Professor Hansen for all of the coaching, all of the help and rehearsing and all of the teaching of how to capture a great recording utilizing various different platforms.
[4:51] Christopher Hanson: And it is a remarkable privilege to utilize technology to connect and make music with musicians from around world. I am so grateful for Maestro Barbosa and Miss Fortune for joining SPU at our virtual Concert of Hope. What you will be listening to in this video is a virtual realization of an orchestra that is made of individual recordings from both Seattle Pacific University orchestra members, as well as members of the Ballard High School Chamber Orchestra. Each recording was individually evaluated and students received feedback on their playing throughout the project while social distancing. Unlike other virtual performances you may have seen, this video offers images of the musical score rather than the performers and an intentional effort to celebrate and focus our attention on the composer and his incredible work. Without any further delay, please enjoy this virtual performance of Arthur Barbosa’s “Toada e Desafio.”
[5:57] Performance of “Toada e Desafio.”