For 60 musicians
Distanced Together, composed by MindTravel creator Murray Hidary, is an immersive musical experience intended to be a collective, cathartic and healing journey with the music acting as the soundtrack tracing the arc of the pandemic.
The work explores the emotional challenges of this period as it navigates the feelings of uncertainty, fear, isolation, and collective longing for connection that were so prevalent during the height of the COVID-19 quarantine period.
The ambiguity of time and directionality are elicited in the elasticity of the music composition, acting as a commentary on our shifting and often stretched individual perceptions of time during this period. These states are also complemented by expressions of hope and triumph of the human spirit through adversity, serving as a reminder of the light that always follows the darkest times.
Featuring a massive ensemble of 60 musicians, Distanced Together is not a concert to be passively enjoyed but rather actively experienced. Twelve string quintets are arranged in a large circle, resembling a clock, in a 10,000 square foot theater.
The participants navigate the space walking their way around and through the piece on an emotional and temporal journey. In the same way that we each experienced the pandemic individually, so too do we go through the music with our own unique perspective.
Distanced Together had its world premiere on January 27, 2023, presented in partnership with MASS MoCA, Contemporaneous, and the MindTravel Foundation.
Distanced Together also completed a residency at MASS MoCA as a sound installation. Presented as a complement to the live-musician performance, 60 individual speakers -- each sounding one instrument -- were spatially and similarly arranged in a circle in a large gallery for participants to make their way around and through. The music was experienced in real time in a communal space for reflection and healing.
The entire experience -- from recording to installation to performance -- was filmed and is now available for public and private screenings so that the healing and catharsis can reach people the world over.
Once, we were distanced. Now we come together.
Wishing you well,