The Primavera Project at Play for the Vote

By Sam Karas, Allegra Hobbs
November 8, 2022 7:30PM
MARFA, TX

Volunteer group Marfa Steps Up manned a table nearby with free doughnuts and coffee for voters. The idea was to encourage voting, and to engender a spirit of community that transcends politics, volunteers explained. And down the block, a slightly different form of activism took place, as multi-Grammy-nominated cellist Matt Haimovitz, having recently bought a house in Marfa, played Bach’s Cello Suites from his truck bed.

The unorthodox concert was part of the Play for the Vote initiative, which aims to “amplify voter turnout through the power of music,” per the group’s website. The initiative was launched by Haimovitz’s friend and fellow cellist Mike Block. “He thought it would be nice to make everybody’s experience more humane and human,” Haimovitz explained. 

Haimovitz, who said it was his first time voting in Texas, had hoped to play inside the polling location but was told there was no music allowed, so settled for the outdoor setting. The setlist was varied, incorporating both old and new works. “The most universal music that I play are the Bach Cello Suites — that appeals to a broad range of people,” he said. 

But he was also using the platform as an opportunity to premiere original works born out of a Marfa-based project — The Primavera Project is a series of compositions inspired by Primavera 2020, Marfa-based artist Charline von Heyl’s response to early Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera. Composer Asher Sizemore wrote a piece called “Six Graces” to be performed for the world premiere by Haimovitz for the project.

Read the whole article on The Big Bend Sentinel.

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