Michael Barenboin and the West Eastern Divan Ensemble: A two-hour performance that sounds like you’re coming home.
Written by Jackie Dominguez De Paz
There is quote by Ryunosuke Satoro that says, “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean”. I believe this quote perfectly describes The Western Divan Ensemble orchestra led by Michael Barenboin. There is no doubt that every player within the orchestra is unbelievably talented, however when they come together, it sounds like what I would imagine the gates of heaven opening to sound like.
As I walked into The Foellinger Great Hall I knew that this performance was going to be remarkable just because just a large audience was attending. However, what I didn’t know was that my seat would be front row which was directly facing the stage. I have never attended an orchestra performance so I didn’t know what I should expect especially for a West-Eastern divan ensemble. To my surprise I witnessed a beautiful group of talented friends that share the same passion and create a heavenly symphony.
Being able to sit in front of the stage allowed me to have an experience that the rest of the audience didn’t get. I was able to acknowledge up-close the way the performers communicated with one another through eye contact. I was able to see to how truly talented these performers are by noticing their fast hand movements that all synchronized with one another. And the amazing friendship that these performers have that is so evident on stage. Although the performance was an orchestra, I was still able to see who was the leader of the orchestra which is Michael Barenboin because every time he had a solo all the performers would simply stop and appreciate his talent.
Although I truly enjoyed the performance, I learned something very important. I learned the music doesn’t need words because music speaks and it speaks in such a unique way that it feeds the soul. “Music and rhythm find their way into the secret place of the soul”. I just find it absolutely insane that for such a long time I avoided orchestra performances because I had the thought that it would be boring, just to find out that whenever I attend musical events I often simply do not want it to end. Music has the power to clear everything off your mind, heal your soul, and lift your spirits just by simply listening.