During some of the most challenging and uncertain times in Covid, I was asked to compose a piece of music that would reflect the emotions and struggles we were all collectively experiencing, while doing my best to weave in a sense of hope and positiveness for the future.
Ballestra was composed for the Diablo Symphony and Diablo Ballet with that goal in mind. I kept the dancers and orchestra in mind throughout the writing process. The orchestra players all had to record their parts while sheltering in place. Once all the recordings were complete, we had to edit the individual performances together so that it would sound like the orchestra had played everything together (a very challenging task). Once the music editing was complete, I handed the score over to the Diablo Ballet. The choreographer for this piece was the super talented Raymond Tilton. Ray did a beautiful job bringing his artistry and vision of the pandemic and what we were all going through with sheltering in place, having to wear masks and so on into the ballet.
This was truly a labor of love during some very challenging times. I hope you enjoy Ballestra and that it connects with you. We put our hearts and soul into every single note and step. We are honored to be considered along side all the other super talented ballet and dance companies. Its amazing to have so much to show this year after everything we all went through last year and continue to struggle with this year. Thank god for music and the arts!
From the Choreographer –
In the midst of the pandemic, Ballestra was conceived as a collaboration to bring artists of Contra Costa County together to create a new work that would inspire hope in light of the fear that all of us were feeling. After receiving the score from composer, Justin Levitt, choreographer, Raymond Tilton, wanted to embody what Justin’s intention was behind the music. From the sense of uncertainty in isolation to reminiscing upon the ease of physical touch, Ballestra ends with the strength of community as our hope to weather the challenges that we’re facing together.