During the lockdown period, classical music lovers quickly became familiar with the virtual orchestra concept, where musicians record themselves at home and a final video is put together from all the individual recordings and then released online. Kristjan and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic released their own large-scale virtual orchestra production in May – a 20-minute recording of music from Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, featuring 108 musicians in 18 countries. But with our next online project, ‘Musical Chain’, we wanted to take the virtual orchestral idea in a new direction, while continuing to celebrate the orchestra’s unique spirit of innovation and international collaboration.
‘Musical Chain’ launched on 23 July with ‘Midnight Mood’, the first in our ‘Rewritten Series’ of strikingly original music videos featuring transformations and remixes of iconic classical pieces. Based on ‘Morning Mood’ from Grieg’s Peer Gynt, ‘Midnight Mood’ is available to watch on the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s social media channels. Further videos in the series, including music from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Sibelius’s ‘Song of Praise’ from the Swanwhite Suite, will be released over the coming weeks. For each video, musicians from the orchestra will make recordings at home based on themes and musical ideas from the original piece, and then Kristjan, in his role as producer, will combine and remix the audio tracks. The resulting recordings will be released as videos on YouTube and eventually as audio tracks on Spotify.
‘Musical Chain’ was conceived as a powerful way of strengthening solidarity and community, both among the musicians of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic itself and among music lovers throughout Europe. The project is inspired by historic human chains, such as the Baltic Way, which was a peaceful political demonstration on 23 August 1989 when around two million people joined hands to form a human chain stretching more than 600km across the three Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.