"Ya vas lyublyu” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky sung by Simon Barrad
Curator Leeav Sofer paired artists Showzart and Simon Barrad together and asked them to have a conversation about the works they each created for 'For The Love Of L.A.' These two artists have never met before, and the discussion recorded is their first meeting and the first time they are viewing each others' art pieces.
I created an audio and video recording in my studio apartment – with Kseniia Polstiankina Barrad playing piano of “Ya vas lyublyu” or “I love you” from Tchaikovsky’s opera, Queen of Spades. The aria is a profession of love and support that falls on completely deaf ears in the story. However in the context of and Listen Louder L.A., it is a plea to notice, appreciate and return the love all around us. The video is bare with a black background and an entreaty straight to the listener: “Look at me. I love you. I see you. May we all see and love one another.”
The versatility of Grammy-nominated baritone Simon Barrad has been heard at genre-bending concerts across the United States and Europe. His talent for unique and innovative programming and arranging—melding new and old, Jazz and drama, classical technique and heartfelt folk idioms—has resulted in recent features in the United States at the Art of the Piano Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Token Creek Festival, the Marlboro Music Festival and Cincinnati Opera. In addition, the 2015/16 Fulbright scholar to Finland has also headlined concerts across the Atlantic at Helsinki’s Musiikkitalo, Finland’s National Opera House and the Berlin Philharmonie. Through his performing and as a mentor for ArtSmart, which provides free music and singing lessons to teenagers in underserved communities, Simon strives to build a more equitable world of empathy and understanding through music.
Curated by Leeav Sofer
"My intention for the project, Listen Louder L.A., is to explore the diversities of our city’s people and ideals, by offering people the opportunity to listen outside their boundaries as the centerpiece of collective art.
Three pairs of artists will be invited to participate in a two-part journey of creating their art. Artists will represent different artistic mediums, including visual arts and dance, as well as instrumental and vocal music, and will be selected from diverse socio-economic and artistic backgrounds. The project will intentionally curate pairs of artists that create opposing dichotomies. We will pair together artists that have had easier journeys to have their forms of expression heard with artists who continue to struggle to be heard.
All artists will be commissioned to create an artwork and then will be brought together in pairs to share their commission with one another and have a moderated conversation to discuss their interpretation of the prompt. Their cross interview will be recorded and then shared as the second half of the artwork’s journey."