I met Wesley Flowers on the 4th of July in Venice. I was having beers & some delicious home made chile verde (Merci, Mr. Incroyable!) when in walks this bearded gentleman from Tennessee. There were various parties going on in the building, and he came downstairs because he heard someone had a stand-up bass in their living room. And so the guys geeked out about amps and gear for a few minutes. Long story short, he was a touring musician who was now forming an orchestra. My flute had been gathering dust these past few years, so I offered my services as a flautist.
Wesley first had the idea to form the Venice Symphony Orchestra back in 2010 when he performed with the Santa Monica Symphony. After having such a blast performing for the beautiful people in Santa Monica, he thought the same should exist in Venice. Unfortunately the Santa Monica Symphony has suspended its 2012-2013 season to restructure the organization to do some fundraising, so the VSO will take temporary reign on this particular cultural asset.
The ensemble is a healthy mix of music professionals, performance majors, and people like myself who are looking to just play after a hiatus. All in all, it’s all fun. The arrangements are an engaging mix of classical and contemporary tunes that retune the modern ear for the likes of Bach & Mozart. It is Wesley’s intention to make high quality music that is free of philosophical obstacles AND free of charge.
When I asked him about his initial inspiration for forming the orchestra, he turned to quote a jazz great. Charlie Parker said, “They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.” The only thing more important than the music is its capacity to promote harmony within our communities. It is one of those ancient, essential forms of human expression. So when we really listen, we can knock down those walls of genre classification, i.e. “classical” “modern” “hip hop” and just have a good damn time listening to music.
“The Venice Symphony Orchestra (VSO) is a community-focused organization dedicated to music education and exploration through sharing and collaboration. From Beethoven to Beck, the VSO invites our audiences to explore the rich history of music from centuries past and present. By providing free orchestral concerts to the Venice community and surrounding areas we will showcase a unique and dignified outlook on modern and classic works.”
1416 Electric Ave, Venice, CA 90291(1 BLOCK EAST OF ABBOT KINNEY)
That’s this Sunday!
And I mean, we’re playing a fugue for strings, and the cellists knock those intervals out of the park. I don’t even pretend I can do that. It’s too awesome. So you should come, and then let’s go to Library Alehouse afterwards.