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Synchromy - Urban Birds 2020

Earlier in May, I was a part of Synchromy's 2020 event "Urban Birds" (based in LA, Synchromy is a composer directed collective that focuses on Contemporary Music). Initially, it was to be held at the LA Audubon Centre on Bird LA Day. However, with Covid-19 unexpectedly knocking and entering on the globe's doorstep, Synchromy had to move this event online. This event could not have happened without the artistic team of Synchromy. Also, special thanks to Jason V. Barabba & Elizabeth Huston, whose perseverance saw to this event happening in spite of the ongoing viral pandemic.

In 2019, I was invited to perform with Synchromy for their Bird LA Day event, and it is to my humble pleasure that I was invited back this year. For this year's project, every performer was paired with a composer; each composer was to compose a short work that exemplifies a particular bird in LA. My composer was the lovely Professor Veronika Krausas (faculty of USC) and our bird was the quaint yet riveting little creature called the California Towhee (Melozone crissalis).

Prof. Krausas was great, easy going and fun to converse with. Her penmanship is also quite crisp which made my life easier. More so, the compositional techniques she manipulated to enact bird sounds on the violin were fun - picturesque jete (bounces that are produced by the performer throwing their bow in a relaxed manner on the string - it should be done with meticulous care, whilst still conveying an easy-natured attitude). It was great collaborating with her, and I do hope there will be more in the near future.

Original Score (excuse the pencil markings)
Original Score (excuse the pencil markings)

Fun Fact: When I first met up with Prof. Krausas, we discovered that we share a birth city - Sydney. What a wonderful surprise.

The performance is embedded below. To experience the entire Urban birds event virtually, where you can also watch the other performances, please visit:

- Xenia Deviatkina-Loh

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