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MusiKaravan to the Rescue! (please vote!)

August 17, 2021

With concerts cancelled by COVID, in late summer 2020, two internationally famous violinists took to the road in their 1971 VW van which they refurbished, painted red, and named Boris.

During COVID, the MusiKaravan project “turned a challenging moment into beautiful human connections and discoveries beyond all possible boundaries like social, cultural, religious, ethnic, and beyond,” said Etienne Gara. “Music was the element to made this experience possible, and that brought so much preciousness to each interaction that was made possible through this journey.” 

I met Etienne, YuEun, and Boris early on in their adventures, which I wrote about here in “Music in the Malbec” and at Halloween here, plus “Fugues on the Farm” about MusiKaravan for the VC Reporter. and I mention them also in this Ventana harvest article. Their story has been told far and wide on NPR and other media —

and they’ve been telling their story themselves via instagram and now a series on YouTube which has been nominated for an award with voting closing Weds. Aug 18 at 9pm Pacific. 

VOTE for Los Angeles based violinists Etienne Gara and YuEun Gemma Kim and their 14 episode series  Delirium Musicum’s MusiKaravan which is nominated in the category “Best Streaming Series 2020-2021” in this year’s Audience Choice Awards of the San Francisco Classical Voice!  

CAST YOUR VOTE HERE so Delirium Musicum’s MusiKaravan will win! 

Above is the trailer they released on May 1, 2021, and each Thursday for 14 weeks they posted an episode about their adventures. 

This is the second nomination for Delirium Musicum which also won the award in 2019-2020 for “Best Early Music/Baroque Performance.”

“To be nominated again, this time with such an important project as MusiKaravan is a beautiful sign of recognition for something that took our hearts and lives for 1 year, more so, a very special and unique year that changed our lives,” said Etienne Gara in a recent email. 

Delirium Musicum started this project against all odds, making the nomination even more meaningful. But the project’s “humanness and artistic meaningfulness was specially important during these times of hardship, where music can make a difference in accompanying, bringing comfort to people, and bring them together in unprecedented times,” said Etienne.

 

Originally from France, violinist Etienne Gara came to the US to further his studies, and graduated from the New England Conservatory. He’s worked with Donald Weilerstein, Midori, and Itzhak Perlman, played on Leonard Cohen’s final album and created Sketches of Miles, inspired by the work of Miles Davis. He served as Artist in Residence at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute where he recorded his French Recital CD on the Leonora Jackson Stradivarius from 1714. 

At USC, Gara met YuEun Gemma Kim. Raised in Seoul, Kim earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in violin performance from Seoul National University, then graduated with her Artist Diploma as a Starling Fellow on full scholarship from the USC-Thornton School of Music. A YouTube superstar, Kim has over 6.6 million views for her “Chopin : Nocturne in c sharp minor for violin and piano” which is part of her project to arrange Chopin for violin. According to Midori, “YuEun possesses an incredible passion for the violin. She is a driven, committed player with a unique personality and voice.”

After doing courtyard concerts as well as a Delirium Musicum performance of “Ciao Bella” from The Money Heist recorded on iPhones on three continents, they decided to travel from place to place to play, COVID compliant, camping in their VW van and sharing their journey on social media.

MusiKaravan is a side project for Delirium Musicum, of which Etienne is artistic director and YuEun is a founding member. Delirium Musicum’s purpose is to “Envision a world that is inspired by the ecstatic interpretation of music!” With MusiKaravan, they continue to achieve the goal of Delirium Musicum: to build a special bond with its audience, to bring joy, and to inspire people through music. 

It’s important to Etienne and YuEun to share their journey with as many people as possible, because they want to inspire people beyond the limits of geography.

“This is how we got into filming our adventures,” reported Etienne. It took them five months to edit the fourteen videos that make up the first season and which have been presented by The Soraya, where Etienne is the current Artist in Residence. “We hope our story can inspire others to reach out to the people that populate the world with us. There are so many beautiful things to share, and it’s amazing to learn about other customs and traditions.”

MusiKaravan’s story has been picked up by many NPR stations and media outlets, and this is hopefully just the beginning of a long and inspiring journey. 

In Episode 3, they joined me at Clos des Amis to help harvest grapes and to play for those of us picking in the vineyards. Read more about their visit with me  here on Wine Predator in “Music in the Malbec” as well as Rhone Roam #1 (El Dorado County), Rhone Roam #2 (Ventura County Grenache Day),  Rhone Roam #3 (France).

About a month later, I learned from my friend Jim Morris that Charles Krug was hosting a “tent city” of hundreds of first responders and utility workers helping the region to recover from the Glass Fire.

When I called Etienne and YuEun and told them, they changed their travel plans and headed to Napa. 

 

Unfortunately, it didn’t exactly go as planned… 

Fortunately, other opportunities presented themselves!

And I was able to be there to appreciate their journey again– this time pairing wine with music!

What’s next for Musikaravan? 

“We have many ideas about how and where to continue to film future episodes of MK, and we hope to partner with TV channels or companies like Netflix or Hulu to materialize these projects,” said Etienne by email. “For now, we are finally preparing for live concerts again, and we’ll be touring with Delirium Musicum in November in Arizona, as well as recording in January for a major record label.”

REMEMBER: Vote for MusiKaravan for “Best Streaming Series 2020-2021” at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7XBB5C5
 

 

 

 

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