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This live performance sequence for Boston-area homeless shelters takes inspiration from the shelter shoppers themselves


The general public can hear Shelter Music Boston’s “Songs of Life” program at a free efficiency on Sept. 27.

Shelter Music Boston performs at CASPAR Emergency Shelter in Cambridge in 2019. Carrie Eldridge-Dickson

Shelter Music Boston’s newest live performance sequence, “Songs of Life,” was impressed by — and created for — the shoppers of native homeless shelters, restoration facilities, and reasonably priced housing communities. Shelter shoppers aren’t the normal viewers for classical music, creative director Adrian Anantawan admitted — however that’s the entire level.

Shelter Music Boston has been acting at Boston-area shelters and substance use restoration facilities for years. They’re musicians, however in addition they see themselves as delivering a social service. Classical music might be therapeutic, Anantawan defined; it might probably restore dignity; it affirms our shared humanity.

“‘Songs of Life’ was a response to the continuous suggestions that we get from our audiences of, ‘Oh, are you able to play this piece of music that’s vital to me in my life?’” Anantawan instructed “I assumed that it will be actually beautiful to … use these tales and the songs which might be significant to them to encourage new items of classical music in order that our audiences actually had a type of company within the music that we’re enjoying.”

Anantawan — a prolific violinist himself, in addition to an educator and incapacity advocate — requested 4 composers to take shelter viewers ideas and adapt them into new, classical compositions.

Composer and violinist Dr. Francine Trester, a Berklee School college member who has collaborated with Shelter Music Boston earlier than, selected to riff off of Survivor’s 1982 hit “Eye of the Tiger.” 

Trester’s quartet takes the recognizable motifs of “Eye of the Tiger” and reworks them into one thing new. Composing with the theme of “hope” in thoughts, Trester paid particular consideration to the tune’s opening lyrics. 

“One of many traces is ‘rising up,’ and that actually spoke to me,” Trester mentioned. “So one of many issues that my music does is [it] progressively rises from a low C, it climbs to a better C.”

For Trester, the method of transforming a preexisting piece and imbuing mimicked the basically human expertise of adapting to life’s surprising twists and turns.

“You’re taking what you’re given, and then you definitely make one thing for your self out of it,” she mentioned. “I imply, that’s an act of hope, in a method. So I hope that [the audience hears] one thing acquainted in it, however then hear that it’s been taken someplace else, and that they translate that course of, that journey, to their very own trajectory.”

Along with Trester’s tackle “Eye of the Tiger,” the “Songs of Life” program contains unique compositions by Ché Buford (who drew inspiration from the Brazilian pop/various rock band Tribalistas’ “Eu Gosto de Você”), Anthony R. Inexperienced (impressed by A Tribe Known as Quest’s “Can I Kick It?”), and Sato Masui (impressed by Lifeless Prez’s “Happiness”).

The live performance sequence consists of 5 non-public performances by Shelter Music Boston’s string quartet at shelters and restoration websites the week of Sept. 18, plus one free, public efficiency on Sept. 27 at St. Cecilia Parish in Again Bay. Reservations for the live performance are advisable.

Dwayne Brown is a volunteer providers coordinator for the Boston Public Well being Fee who has labored with Shelter Music Boston to arrange performances on the Southampton Road and Woods Mullen shelters.

“The friends actually, really love Shelter Music Boston coming in,” Brown instructed “Music units a tone. It provides you a sure feeling.”

“Being within the shelter setting, it’s very busy.” Brown continued. “You’re doing lots… your thoughts is full, [but] then by the tip of their choice, you’re feeling extra relaxed.”

At a time when many of the headlines about homelessness in Boston invoke a “disaster” at Mass. and Cass, or scale back struggling individuals to statistics on a web page, Anantawan hopes the general public live performance leaves individuals feeling empathy towards the shelter shoppers whose enter formed this system.

“Music is a kind of shared languages that we’ve got throughout cultures, throughout time, and particularly throughout, simply, the those that we see on a regular basis who’re going via these challenges,” Anantawan mentioned.

“Music offers its personal sort of shelter,” Trester mentioned, “which everyone wants.”