In preparation of next weekend’s exciting Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival, Sandy Wilson has a quick interview with the members of Trio Consonare. Trio Consonare is one of four exciting young emerging chamber music ensembles performing throughout the festival.
Sandy Wilson: I know you been to California before and some of you come from here but, do you have any special wishes or extracurricular agendas while you are visiting? Is there anything you’d tell us that might help us ensure that you have more fun during your visit?
Jinshil Yi: So thoughtful of you to ask us! Thank you. More than anything, we are so excited to be immersed in the musical fervor of the Seminar and festival. Location is trivial; this could have been held in the Sahara Desert and we would have still loved it! But since we are in California, and particularly in San Francisco, it would be neat to have a group outing somewhere unique to the city. I am fortunate to have the other two members of my trio native to San Francisco (they know helpful details such as which bridges have the most expensive tolls at what hours, etc), but I’m willing to bet that they’ll probably experience San Francisco in a fresh way this February as well! Look forward to watching them re-discover their own hometown (with the rest of us!). 😀
Faithlina Chan: Being from the San Francisco Bay Area myself, I feel as though I’ve never done some of the more touristy activities in the city. But since one of our members, Jinshil, is from Washington, it would be fantastic to take her sight-seeing and at the same time do some myself without feeling like a tourist at the place where I live. I’m also looking forward to meeting the other participants and I hope to be able to spend time getting to know them!
Jonathan Mei: As a resident of Oakland California, I consider San Francisco to be part of home. I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to mix my school life with my home life, and to share the experience with Faithlina and Jinshil. I’m both content and excited to spend some extra time in such a familiar place, but with a new sense of purpose.
Sandy Wilson: Is there anything that you are really looking forward to accomplishing during your excursion to San Francisco that you don’t normally get to experience during your time at Puget Sound School of Music?
Faithlina Chan: While we are at the university, the time we spend together is quite limited as we each have our own separate busy schedules and friends, so I think just being able to spend time together with each other in a new environment and get some trio bonding time would be fun. Additionally, having that concentrated time to be playing together daily will probably do wonders for us and allow us to focus on music without the numerous distractions of being on campus.
Jinshil Yi: As Faithlina said, one of the most amazing aspects of the seminar will be the satisfying amounts of time we will enjoy for rehearsals and coachings. At school, it’s difficult to balance a full academic schedule and trio work. This will be a real treat to have nearly a full week for just forgetting about everything and focusing on chamber music in all its glorious splendor. (And then, I’m sure, reality will hit us when we get back! But it will be worth every bit of it.) The greatest benefit I look forward to, however, is that of fellowship and feedback from indescribably awesome chamber music groups, many of whom will serve as models and inspiring examples for us in experience, sound, and repertoire.
Jonathan Mei: While attending school in Washington, chamber music is something we have to fit in between all our other responsibilities. As much as we love to rehearse, there is only so much time to meet during the week. During our week in San Francisco however, music will be our primary focus. We can apply ourselves whole-heartedly to the pursuit of higher musical aspirations — ones that we can’t necessarily reach in a school setting. And while we feel incredibly privileged to be working under Professor David Requiro who has done so much for us already, we recognize the value of getting feedback from other professionals and accomplished musicians during the festival. In this kind of environment we can hone our skills both as a group and as individuals and truly strive to be the best that we can be.
Sandy Wilson: As an already demonstrably successful young ensemble, what do you feel are the most challenging aspects of playing chamber music, and what do you hope the ASQ and our Guest Artist Faculty can do to help with those challenges?
Jinshil Yi: Navigating the intricacies of perfect balance, communication, and unity of musical expression as a trio (as opposed to three musicians playing simultaneously) is a skill we covet and greatly strive to learn. We would like to entirely re-define our hearing, vision, movement, and feeling — everything about performance — to be effective as a TRIO and a chamber group with incredibly sensitive and keen ensemble work.
Faithlina Chan: I believe our biggest challenges have a lot to do with rehearsing. It’s difficult knowing when the time is for working on details, or when we should run through the piece, or which sections need work due to problems in the ensemble or with an individual part, etc. But I think we’re gradually making our rehearsals more fruitful and learning to communicate better and getting familiar with each other’s parts. I’m always amazed during coachings how much time can be spent on a small section, and I think it’s in those details that make the difference between just playing well and making music alive. There are many things we can’t notice about ourselves, and things we forget to mention so having guidance is invaluable. And as ASQ and the faculty have so much experience with chamber music and music in general, I’m excited to learn many things from their collective knowledge and insight.
Sandy Wilson: What foods do you like to eat especially? Since you probably know that SF is a food destination, we’d like to know what your preferences are!
Jonathan Mei: My favorite food, frankly, is food that I’ve never had before. I love trying new flavors from exotic cultures. If I had to pick one however, in regard to San Francisco, I’d have to say Italian. Be it pizza or pasta, I can’t say no to eating Italian in the city. Not to mention, my heritage wouldn’t allow otherwise.
Jinshil Yi: My mother, who once lived in San Francisco, said to me last week, “You’re going to love the food there. No matter what it is, even if it’s just a bread crumb, food tastes amazing if it’s in San Francisco. [Pause] I wonder why that is. But everything tastes so delicious in San Francisco!” 🙂 So naturally, I want to test this hypothesis. So if it’s a San Francisco restaurant, with food, in San Francisco, I’m down to try it!
Faithlina Chan: I pretty much love all food. Ice cream is hands down my favorite dessert. Italian food is always delicious and I find myself craving sushi in Washington where I don’t have access to a car. I also enjoy good salads and soups, crepes, burritos/tacos/Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Indian as long as it’s not ridiculously spicy…really I’ll probably eat AND enjoy most anything!
Puget Sound School of Music student and pianist Jinshil Yi ’14 was left “absolutely speechless” the first time she sat down and played with freshmen Faithlina Chan ’16 (cello) and Jonathan Mei ’16 (violin).
“We sight-read through an entire 30-page Mendelssohn movement without stopping once,” Yi said. “Of course it wasn’t perfect, refined, or flawless—but the flow, the magic, the consonance was there. I knew, in those 11 minutes, that I had met the perfect piano trio, here at Puget Sound…” Read the full feature on www.PugetSound.edu