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Thick Mask

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

During the peak of lockdown, quarantine, aka. trying to stay alive during a raging virus called 2020, I met a young gentleman called Grande Coles on zoom. Did I mention that Grande is a penseagrande. Penseagrande is an interdisciplinary artist and philosopher who expresses their global perspectives through their artistic devices. Grande’s professional title is Pgr. Grande Sean Coles.

Let us go back to the beginning.

Lockdown hit Los Angeles right before Synchromy was preparing for their 2020 "Urban Birds" event. As the weeks flew by, the prospect of live performances were looking very bleak. I rephrase, it was likely live performances were combing to a halt for an unforeseeable future. And as we all know now, that was the case. Due to that, Synchromy did not want a virus to derail our music making, hence, all performances went virtual and online. I ended up performing a work by Veronika Krausas and through her, I was formally introduced to Pamela Madsen (who by the way is also one fo the featured composers of the Urban Birds Project — go to barn owl). She is currently serving as faculty at Cal State Fullerton as a Professor of Music Composition. She held an event and Prof. Krausas and I discussed the Urban Birds project.

During this meet&greet and discussion, I met Grande.

A few months later, I was asked to perform one of his works — Thick Mask.

Thick Mask was composed during the lockdown, and I will let Grande share his narrative :

Thick Mask

learning to breath again “We make music to leave our loneliness, to affirm the presence of our souls, and to banish the perceived silence of God. But these times of isolation have brought us again to confront the greatest noise: our minds and their restless madness. Perhaps the suffocation we have experienced has reminded us that a human can survive on a slow deep breath. The profound anxiety of living is never suppressed, nor the theme of suffering, but we learn in the struggle to refine our capacity to make -peace with reality- .”

Go to Grande's website for more exciting music.

We have yet to meet in person. Thanks Grande for composing such a unique work, and a shout out to James for helping me realise this work.

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