Written By Behnam Vadi
On Friday, December 8, 2023, the Soundbox venue in the heart of San Francisco’s Civic Center neighbourhood was the setting for an extraordinary musical event, Eye, Sea, You Are Here. Mazz Swift, the renowned violinist, singer, and composer, took the audience on an auditory odyssey that explored the depths of the soul and the expanse of our planet. The theme of the evening was Eye, window to the soul—sea calm and expansive. You are here, present with an intense love for the one planet we have,” was masterfully embodied in Swift’s performance. Her signature blend of song, melody, and improvisation resonated deeply with the audience, creating an atmosphere of introspection and connectivity.
Mazz Swift’s ability to connect with her audience was palpable. Her violin strings sang with a language of their own, weaving tales of land, sea, air, and the human spirit. Her voice, an instrument of raw emotion, further elevated the experience, making it not just a musical journey but a journey of the heart and mind. Accompanying Swift’s soul-stirring performance was the art of Santtu Mustonen. Mustonen’s work, known for its dynamic and fluid style, complemented the music perfectly. The visuals seemed to dance with the notes, creating a harmonious interplay between sight and sound. The event was more than just a concert; it was an immersive experience that urged the audience to reflect on their relationship with the Earth and themselves. Eye, Sea, You are Here was a powerful reminder of the beauty of our planet and the art that can arise from cherishing it.
Highlights of the Evening
• Invocation – Mazz Swift: The event opened with the hauntingly beautiful Invocation by Mazz Swift. Her performance, enhanced by the Soundbox’s visual projections of clouds and rainfall, created a powerful and dynamic start to the evening. • Come Sunday – Duke Ellington (arr. Peter Evans): Swift’s rendition of Come Sunday was a masterful blend of classical and jazz elements, brought to life by the venue’s superior acoustics, making it a highlight of this cold December night.
• Zapatos de Chincha from Hilos – Gabriela Lena Frank: The lively Zapatos de Chincha transported the audience to the heart of Latin America, with the Soundbox’s visual projections adding a vivid backdrop to the musical narrative.
• Tidal Breathing – Philip Rawlinson: In Tidal Breathing, the ensemble’s serene performance, accompanied by visuals of water, provided a calming contrast to the brisk winter evening, inviting the audience into a state of peaceful reflection.
• The Long Introduction – Mazz Swift: The Soundbox’s projection of jellyfish visuals during The Long Introduction added a mesmerizing quality to Swift’s conducting, enhancing the fluidity and grace of the music.
• Memory Four – Mazz Swift: The event concluded with the emotionally resonant Memory Four, where the visuals of humpback whales created a profound connection with the audience, echoing the themes of nature and introspection. With its unique blend of technology and design, the Soundbox venue played a pivotal role in the evening’s success. Eye, Sea, You Are Here was a testament to the transformative power of music and art. It was an event that those in attendance will remember for years to come. For those interested in experiencing similar captivating performances, future Soundbox events can be explored at sfsoundbox.com. The Soundbox venue continues to be a beacon for innovative and immersive musical experiences in the heart of San Francisco.
For more information on SF Symphony please visit: www.sfsymphony.org