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Music in Corrales volunteer Jannie Dusseau recently described the organization’s pandemically truncated season as “a significant learning experience and undertaking for our small volunteer organization, as we navigated what for us have been the unknown waters of obtaining and presenting online concerts.”

And still they persisted. The schedule already was set for September 2020 through April 2021, when COVID-19 blew everything up. The president of Corrales Cultural Arts Council’s Music in Corrales, Lance Ozier, along with Mike Foris and Deb Dapson took a deep dive into how to switch from in-person to online concerts.

They sought a new platform vendor who could support video on demand, and their usual ticket sales platform using brownpapertickets was no longer viable. They decided to offer the first online presentation for free. It featured Russian pianist Arsentiy Kharitonov, and ran through January 3, 2021.

Kharitonov, working from the University of North Texas, had quickly sent Music in Corrales an elegant concert video in 4G, which sadly had to be converted to 1080 in order to flow online. According to Ozier, about 67 people registered for 89 tickets, with the cost covered by funds from New Mexico Arts, as well as donors to Music in Corrales.

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They contacted every artist already committed to its Corrales season, and slowly made renegotiated deals. Next up, running from January 23 through January 31 is a concert featuring Celtic fiddle and cellist duo, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, making their fifth appearance with Music in Corrales. For this one, music lovers will pay $15 per ticket.

Following the first viewing opportunity on January 23, Fraser and Haas will participate in a live question-and-answer session right after the concert, beginning at approximately 8:15 p.m. Tickets are available at http://www.musicincorrales.org/concert/fraser-and-haas-concert/

The vast repertoire the Scottish fiddler and the American cellist have developed over a 20-year partnership spans several centuries of Scottish music as well as Fraser’s own compositions, and blends the Scottish tradition with cutting-edge musical explorations. And their work has helped revive and reinvigorate the Scottish tradition of playing dance music on violin and cello.

One critic suggested that what makes their music soar is its “tonal variation and attack to spare,” along with “the responsiveness each shows to the other.”
They tell stories as well, sharing the lore surrounding Scotland’s musical heritage. And, in addition to performing, when not constrained pandemically, they both teach at fiddle camps across the globe.

Fraser, described as “the Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddling,” was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2011. Haas, a Juilliard graduate, has performed with most of the fiddle world’s greats. Begun in January 2020, the pair’s latest CD, “SYZYGY,” is finally rolling out. The title apparently references “the nearly straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies, such as the sun, moon, and earth during a solar or lunar eclipse, in a gravitational system.” The duo says to “Make sure you check the livestream page for album release shows coming to a computer screen near you.” See https://culburnie.com/alasdairandnatalie.html

Ozier thinks the live streaming online video platform Music in Corrales selected, Dacast, based in San Francisco and London, is meeting its needs. A few glitches here and there may well pop up, as concert venues and performers reinvent ways to reach their audiences. Look for Boyd Meets Girl online come February. Australian classical guitarist Rupert Boyd and American cellist Laura Metcalf, based in New York, will serve up an “eclectic and engaging range of repertoire, from Bach to Beyoncé.”

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