With apologies to a certain magnetic tape maker, Is it live or is it YouTube? The answer: Both. The sixth annual UC Santa Barbara Summer Music Festival is coming to a screen near you Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28 and 29.
Presented by the UCSB Department of Music and sponsored by the university’s Office of Summer Sessions, the festival will be available entirely through the department’s YouTube channel as a virtual event.
Alexandra Jones, the festival’s artistic director and a graduate student in composition, said the performances reflect the creativity and grit of UCSB. Founded in 2016 by alumnus Federico Llach, the festival is curated and managed by students.
“If there was ever a word to sum up the UCSB music community, it would be resilient,” shared Jones. “These last few years have been hard for all of us; the music world had to stop practically overnight, but that could not stop us. We will always continue to create and produce and inspire. The UCSB community is now even more so spread out throughout the world, but we can’t forget that we are all under one sky. This year we are eager to celebrate with local artists and truly relish in the best of UCSB. The community is alive and well, and it is truly something to appreciate.”
As in past years, the festival boasts a diverse collection of artists from Southern California with music of various genres, cultures and eras. It kicks off with university carillonist Wesley Arai performing live from the carillon in Storke Tower at 1 p.m. He will play a range of works, including pieces written specifically for UCSB’s carillon. Listeners who would like to attend the recital in person are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on the grass outside the tower during the recital.
Here’s a look at the rest of the festival’s lineup:
• At 3 p.m. Saturday, Daniel Ohara on sitar and Shashank Aswathanarayana on tabla will perform Raga Maulkans, North Indian classical music. The performance will feature an alap (a solo section on the sitar without rhythmic accompaniment), followed by gat-s (small traditional compositions which serve as a foundation for ongoing improvisations) set to a 16-beat rhythmic cycle called teental.
• At 5, the CRUSH Duo — cellists Chenoa Orme-Stone and Katrina Agate — will perform classical works as well as original arrangements of a wide selection of short pieces. The program will also feature performances by Ahna Lipchik, a leading dancer with State Street Ballet.
• At 1 p.m. Sunday, Duo Con Fuoco — pianists Petra Peršolja and Adam Gravelle will present an assortment of piano favorites, including George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Gioachino Rossini's “Barber of Seville.”
• At 3 p.m., Scott Marcus (sitar) and Shashank Aswathanarayana (tabla) will present Raga Yaman. The performance will feature an alap followed by gat-s set to a teental.
• At 5 p.m., UCSB’s Gamelan Sinar Surya, led by Richard North, will perform a variety of styles of traditional Indonesian gamelan music. The performance will include an ancient Topeng mask dance performed by Noah Malik.