Lilting voices from two violins and a harpsichord etch out the notes of Purcell’s Pavan in B-flat Major, filling a small room with layered textures and slowly unfolding emotions. The three performers lean into their instruments, their private concert as intimate as it would have been if performed in the 17th century. This is what the Salish Sea Players create at each of their concerts: unexpected music in unexpected venues. Linda Melsted and Olga Hauptman on baroque violins and Fred Hauptman on the harpsichord perform in retirement, memory-care, and long-term-care facilities for people who are unable to attend traditional venues due to a lack of mobility or resources.
Before each concert, the trio greets audience members individually and answers questions about the historical instruments they use and the style of music they play. Their instruments reflect what would have been used historically: antique bows, strings made of unwound gut, and copies of original scores. Then they fill the air with the sounds of Handel, Mazas, Sousa, or Bartok, the sweet music combining with the historical approach to create an intriguing atmosphere and educational moment for the audience to share together.
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