Like the rest of the world, we felt deeply affected by the coronavirus crisis and when my youngest daughter started taping tissue paper as masks for her toys, I thought of doing a family project involving music, as a sort of vehicle to express our emotions and hopes during these trying times. We searched through our sources of creative inspiration and Yo-Yo Ma’s recording of Libertango came to mind. According to Wikipedia, Libertango is a combination of “Libertad” (Spanish for liberty) and “Tango”, which symbolises the composer Astor Piazzolla‘s break from the Classical Tango form. Liberty is a word I think we all desperately need – liberty from oppression, pandemics, quarantines and lockdowns.
It took us about a month in total, from score arranging and rehearsing, to shooting and putting it all together. There were many times I just left the camera rolling and had creative gems of my kids fooling around with toilet rolls, trying out the musical themes on a toy keyboard, dancing or just goofing around. The whole project was tremendous fun and everyone learned so much from it.
I was a professional clarinetist in Singapore for about six years as a young adult, but I haven’t played professionally for 15 years. It feels a bit like I did abandon my instrument and I do regret it, but after moving to Denmark three years ago, I found time to reacquaint myself with my long-forgotten musical companion. Much to my surprise and relief, the music never left me.