Creative people, as it turns out, don’t tend to stay still. So, when the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra canceled its mid-March Aretha Franklin tributes in accordance with social gathering guidelines from Little Rock Mayor Mayor Frank Scott, ASO Concertmaster Drew Irvin decided to give a little serenade on social media, which begat another the next night by ASO harpist Alisa Coffey, and another the next night from the ASO’s interim Artistic Director Geoff Robson, and so on, each night at 9 p.m. on the ASO’s Facebook page.
“So, this was an idea that had kind of been fermenting,” Irvin told us, “when I first heard that they shut down Wuhan. … I thought, well, we have all this technology, and it’s kind of like this muscle we’ve never used before. … We want to just keep it going every night that life allows us to keep it going. Let’s hope people can tune in for a little minute of some kind of beautiful music at the end of their day, maybe it’s Bach, maybe it’s a pop tune, maybe it’s some beautiful folk music, maybe it’s something else. It’s just a chance for us to have a little bit of community, and to smile and to wash the day away.”
Musicians, Irvin said, are “used to this process of practice, rehearse, rehearse, concert. And it’s kind of like, we need to get our fix. We need our audience. We need to be playing for people. And we don’t have that, so hopefully we can have a new way of doing it for the time being, until we can get back in the hall.”