We recently sat down with the members of the Sitkovetsky Trio — comprised of violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky, pianist Wu Qian, and cellist Isang Enders — to ask them some questions about the short film and their new CD.
"At the beginning of this year, as we were all in the midst of a second full lockdown, we genuinely started to wonder about the possibility of concerts not coming back for a long time," Sitkovetsky told the Violin Channel. "We knew that our new album of Ravel and Saint Saëns Trios was going to be released in the summer, so we started thinking of ways that we could do something creative to support the CD in case we were still not able to perform when the release day arrived.
With a large number of concerts, interviews, and online content circulating during that time, the trio wanted to do something different. They found a few wonderful short animated films set to music and were inspired.
"We were recommended a wonderful young animator living in Germany, Pavel Hudec," he said. "We saw some of his work and loved it and then asked him to create a short film based around the Ravel Trio.
"The movement that we chose is the 'Pantoum,' which takes its influence from the rhythm of a popular Malay poem structure at the turn of the 20th century. We also wanted to touch on other themes like Ravel’s Basque background (His mother was from the Basque area of Saint-Jean-de-Luz in South West France), and the onset of World War One, which pushed Ravel to finish the piece faster than he had planned."
"The design of the film was entirely Pavel’s and we think it is so beautiful. We all felt that it would be good to have a more youthful look for Ravel so we scoured the internet for some of his younger photos and luckily found an image that we thought would work well. Also, we know that Ravel attended the first performance, so if you watch until the very end, you will see that all of us had a lot of fun with that!"
When asked about the importance of an online, social media presence, the trio said that it's imperative to have ways to connect to your fans and keep them updated, so that when we can all meet in the hall again, the audience will be aware of and engaged in your product.
"I also think that social media is an opportunity for developing your brand and your visibility, but, at the same time, because of the sheer volume of material now available, there is a danger that everything gets diluted and put into one category," Sitkovetsky added.
"That’s why I feel it is important to make your own social media presence as unique as possible. This wasn’t something that the trio or we as individuals were ever good at but I think that we are starting to adapt to the current situation and are now beginning to reach new audiences, especially through the support of huge social media accounts like The Violin Channel. Of course, having something unique like the animated film that we have made on top of a new CD certainly helps.