Kathleen Balfe: Swing Free

Cabrillo Festival cellist Kathleen Balfe, a California native now living in Spain, shares with us this poignant work in memory of her brother David, who passed away on March 26. She says:

“I composed, recorded, and produced ‘Swing Free’ at home in memory of my brother who passed away during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Since his death, I have had the song ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ as a personal soundtrack, defining my days. It is curious how collective crises bring many of us closer to our spirituality. This piece begins with the last heartbeats of my brother’s big heart and his transcendence. It continues with my grief, which eventually has transformed into compassion, acceptance, and comfort. While I am a professional cellist, a church choir-trained singer, and never have been a harmonica player, the video editing software has been a novel discovery for me. The myriad of tools we have at our disposal to express visually what the music expresses in sound enthralls me. I hope that you enjoy this creation as much as I have enjoyed creating it. Be well everyone.

Compuse, grabé, y produje ‘Swing Free’ en casa en memoria de mi hermano que murió durante la Pandemia de Covid-19. Desde su muerte, he tenido el espiritual ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ como banda sonora de mis días. Me resulta curioso como las crisis colectivas nos llevan más cerca a nuestra espiritualidad. Esta obra describe un proceso de luto, empezando con los últimos latidos del gran corazón de mi hermano y su transcendencia, continuando con mi duelo que va convirtiéndose en compasión, aceptación, y confort.

Aunque soy chelista profesional, cantante en la ducha, y nunca he tocado la armónica, el programa de edición de vídeo ha sido un descubrimiento para mí. Es notable la diversidad de herramientas que tenemos a nuestra disposición para ayudar a que la música también se manifieste de forma visual. Espero que disfruten de esta creación tanto como yo lo he hecho en crearla. Mucha salud para todos.”

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