By Nancy Ewert
Last summer I had the delight of attending a small concert by Grisha Krivchenia, which I can only describe as unforgettable. Krivchenia trained as a classical musician and shares his profound work of composing music with people who are reaching the end of their lives. As he unveiled each composition, he told a brief vignette about his co-creator whose story was woven with the piece. I have rarely been so moved by an evening of music. Krivchenia clearly is a gifted, generous young man.
In an ongoing effort to incubate more programs like Lifesongs, Grisha has developed Up Close: Voices of our Elders on San Juan Island. Up Close pairs local artists with elders in the San Juan Island community. Composers, playwrights, choreographers and poets meet weekly with elder partners for several months. They gather stories and engage their elderly partners directly in the creation of original works, which are then performed for the public. These performances have been enormously popular, with their high impact, simple delivery and beauty. It is clear that this model stimulates community connection, empathy and deep, soulful intergenerational exchanges. We are fortunate to have an opportunity to hear Grisha here on Lopez Island again. You can share in this experience on Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. at Center Church, when Grisha will perform with Up Close. Guest appearance by Kip and Stanley Greenthal. The event is by donation; proceeds go to Lopez Island Hospice and Home Support.