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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Arnold

Bach Chaconne - The first time it's EVER been recorded in the Amazon Rainforest! Earth Day 2022

This past March I went on a two-week immersion in the Amazon Rainforest. I brought my backpacking violin along and recorded one of my favorite pieces of all time - Bach's Chaconne for solo violin - in one of the most remote places on earth, the Amazon headwaters in Ecuador.

I'm very pleased to celebrate Earth Day 2022 with this video!

This is quite possibly the first time this piece has ever been recorded (or even played!) in the Amazon Rainforest. Violins don't do so well in this climate, after all! Luckily, I had my "Cricket" backpacking violin and a carbon fiber bow with me, both of which withstood the trek and the weather admirably.

I feel so grateful to be able to play this profound piece of music in this sacred place. Hearing the wildlife singing around me as I played, with the sound of Bach's music reverberating off the trees in the distance was one of the peak experiences of my life.

(At other moments of the trip, I also played for the indigenous peoples down there, many of whom had never heard or seen a violin before. It was a great honor to play for them!)

It's not a "perfect" recording of the piece (I was sick for the prior few days, the humidity loosened the bow hairs almost to the point of unplayability, and it even started raining halfway through the recording!), but I'm very happy with the recording overall. I was in touch with the soul of the piece and my surroundings while I played - and that's what really matters to me.

I hope you enjoy this recording and get a sense of how special a place the Amazon headwaters is.

PS - If you're a musician or other kind of artist and you want to experience an Amazon Rainforest immersion like the one I went on, please reach out to me via my website I will be leading a group of 8-11 creatives for an 11-day journey to the Amazon headwaters in Ecuador in March of 2023. We will go on hikes through the forest to visit sacred waterfalls, commune with ancient trees, share our gifts with the indigenous peoples of the forest, and (if you want to) participate in shamanic rituals. It will be a life-changing experience.

Joseph Arnold

Violinist, Alexander Technique teacher, Founder of the Soulforce Arts Academy -- Sign up for my bodacious mailing list and blog to learn more about my upcoming book tentatively entitled, "Soulforce Arts: What Musicians Can Artists Do in Our World in Transition"

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