FOR THE LOVE OF L.A.
For the Love of L.A. highlights the broad and expansive array of Angeleno creativity across diverse disciplines and geographies. New artists and works of art will be posted every Tuesday for a 13-week period. More than 35 artists in total will be featured with a platform to express their views of Los Angeles that are relevant and reflective of the current time through music, dance and visual culture.
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Curator Leeav Sofer paired artists Simon Barrad and Showzart 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. Watch their conversation below.
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.
Barrad consistently collaborates with composers across the world to create music that speaks to our time and is currently working on several new pieces, including the upcoming release of L.A.-based composer Reena Esmail’s Quarantine Madrigals with Austin-based ensemble Conspirare. Barrad is a native of Long Beach, Calif. and holds a master of music degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and a bachelor of music in voice with a French minor from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU Long Beach. Highlights of upcoming seasons include recital debuts at Wigmore Hall in London and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, as well as a virtual Passover celebration–Dayenu with San Francisco’s Taste of Talent.