Beth Ross-Buckley, co-founder and co-artistic director of the chamber group Camarada, says “creativity, expression and serving thousands of people through the voice of music” drives her passion for the craft. (Howard Lipin / Union-Tribune) Beth Wood
Beth Ross-Buckley is a flutist and co-founder and co-artistic director of Camarada, which has presented cozy chamber-music concerts in San Diego since 1994. Its 2017 fall season opens Oct. 1 at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. It continues Nov. 4 at Bread & Salt with “Music, SHE Wrote,” featuring chamber music composed by women.
What do you love most about your craft?
The craft of music chose me. It was a nonnegotiable partnership of creativity, expression and serving thousands of people through the voice of music. This is a voice that every person can understand and interpret in a way that allows them to be vulnerable, connected, and rise above the “noise” of the world.ADVERTISING
The passion that surfaces mostly through Camarada chamber music is bringing people together through this universal language. Chamber music at its best offers a transcendence of oneness into a beautiful group dynamic. Performing music is an amazing adventure; in addition, the relationship of musicians and audience is intimate, which provides a special nuance for our craft.
One of the bonus gifts of performing chamber music in intimate settings is being able to speak with as many audience members as possible. They become family with our musicians, and without them the craft would go unnoticed. What I love most about presenting and performing chamber music is bringing people together and creating a sense of community.
Besides music, name an artistic or cultural endeavor that inspires you here in San Diego.
The vibrant and eclectic art exhibitions at Bread & Salt in Barrio Logan always inspire and invigorate me. The art is edgy and unpredictable and always has a tale to tell. The visionaries and owners of Bread & Salt — James Brown and Isabel Dutra — have created a dynamic, fun and affordable community arts hub for many artistic mediums. Jim and Isabel’s goal is to “knit communities back together through the arts.” It’s a lofty goal, and it is working beautifully.
Camarada began performing the REMIXX Series in this space four years ago. Our audience loves the urban atmosphere and the palpable energy in this remodeled bread factory. We feature the current Bread & Salt Art Exhibit as part of our concert presentation. The artists are available to talk with our audience about their craft before and after the performance. I am a firm believer in cross-pollination in arts presentation. Viewing the art and listening to a performance of music in the same space greatly enhances and elevates the experience as a whole.
Is there an artistic or cultural event that you’re looking forward to this season?
My favorite artistic events tend to be presented in intimate venues — like Holly Hofmann’s Handlery Jazz Happy Hour series, Chuck Perrin’s Dizzy’s Jazz, Kate Hatmaker’s Art of Élan, Bonnie Wright’s Fresh Sound, or taking in the art of the Mingei and MOPA in Balboa Park and Bread & Salt’s gallery.
Cultural events such as these draw me in — whether it’s in San Diego or a city I’m visiting. The more casual the space, the closer the proximity to the artist, the more profound I believe the experience is.
Watching performers up close allows one to observe the nuanced facial expressions, body language and emotions. The essence of the performance comes alive with a unique rhythm and life force.
I once read “live chamber music is like a diary” — in other words, it exposes and thrives on the musical secrets of each performer. I prefer to view art in the same way as music — up close and personal, which is even more enhanced if the composer or artist is present at the event. After attending this style of event, I always come away inspired and recharged for life and creativity.
Camarada’s Mingle Series: Fanfare, featuring trumpeter Micah Wilkinson: 6 p.m. Oct. 1. Mingei International Museum, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park. $15 to $50. (619) 231-3702 or camarada.org
Wood is a freelance writer.