Together in Isolation (2022)

Together in Isolation

“The musical and spiritual heart of the (Nottingham Chamber Music Festival) was Together in Isolation staged at Nottingham Contemporary. The evening was a musical meditation on the effects of Covid on the lives of musicians, suddenly isolated from colleagues, audiences and an essential part of themselves….The effect of this concert was both moving and eye-opening”

– Nottingham Post

Together In Isolation was a performance that featured Tamaki Higashi and Carmen Flores, two musicians who – like everyone else – found themselves dealing with inexplicable circumstances in 2020. With the help of friends, composers, and other artists, they continued their musical connection, with the lesson that no path is as straightforward as one hopes it will be. The other lesson is that hindsight is 20/20.

The premise of the performance was to tell the story of Tamaki and Carmen, two friends who shared a long collaboration together in the Villiers Quartet. At the onset of lockdown in the Covid-19 pandemic, they experimented with ways of trying to make music together, using remote video and audio recording. The difficulties of their ordeal ended up creating a new way of playing together. 

In 2022, Carmen conceived the idea to perform Together In Isolation in concert, combining live music with video projection. Incorporated into the video storytelling was music by Bach, Bela Bartok, Jack van Zandt, and UK-based composers Ray Kohn, and Martyn Harry, who had written a new piece for them “Three Prequels and a Series Finale”.




Part I: Together

J.S. Bach                          Invention No.13 in a minor, BWV 784

Béla Bartók                     No. 4, Midsummer Night Song; No. 5, Slovakian Song

Bach                                 Invention No. 6 in E major, BWV 777

Bartók                              No. 26, Teasing Song; No. 27, Limping Dance


Part II: Apart

Bach                                  Invention No. 2 in c minor, BWV 773

*Bartók                            No. 10, Ruthenian Song

Jack Van Zandt              Immigrant Hymn

Bach                                  Invention No. 9 in f minor, BWV 780

Ray Kohn                         Nigun

Bartók                              No. 37, Prelude and Canon


Part III: Reborn

*Bach                               Invention No. 1 in C Major, BWV 772

Bartók                              No. 8, Slovakian Song; No. 9, Play Song

*Bartók                            No. 4,  Pillow Dance

Bach                                  Invention No. 8 in F major, BWV 779

Martyn Harry                 Three Prequels and a Series Finale (2020)

  1. Prequel No. 1
  2. Prequel No. 2
  • Prequel No. 3
  1. Series Finale

(world premiere performance)