Sometimes when we are apart, we can create the most powerful connections.
When 124 musicians from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University were separated by COVID, they made magic happen and created a masterpiece: Brave the Wave.
Ironically, they started 2020 reflecting on how to celebrate 40 years of world-class performing arts training that WAAPA has provided to thousands of students, including famous names like Hugh Jackman, Lisa McCune and Tim Minchin.
As it turned out, it was these young, talented musicians' response to the challenges of COVID-19 that has brought WAAPA even greater recognition on both the national and global stage.
Brave the Wave was composed by Honours student Jonathan Jie Hong Yang, who credits his Head of Classical Music Tim White, for approaching him with the idea to bring the students together by creating music while in isolation.
"It was an immense honour," Jonathan tells Mamamia. "I was deeply moved and delighted by the way people have responded to the piece. It's difficult to perceive how it's going when we are cooped up in our workspace. It's been a pleasant surprise and a little unusual but I have been learning not to be overwhelmed.
"A lot of musicians are a bit introverted and certainly composition is a way to express myself without having to be in the spotlight!"
The seven-minute YouTube clip was created by editing individual videos that the music students shot of themselves playing or singing their parts at home.
They all wore headphones and played to an audio mock-up and a click track so they could stay in tune and on time.
Watch the masterpiece below:
"Brave the Wave was inspired by a percussion piece I heard by Defying Gravity [WAAPA's acclaimed percussion ensemble] with a lot of tom-tom drums," says Jonathan. "It starts with tom-toms and then the instrumentation starts, and then I added orchestral and backing elements. The piece revealed itself as we created it as everyone was working together towards this piece.