Above: Olympia Symphony Orchestra conductor Alexandra Arrieche and Smoke M2D6 last Saturday evening at Heritage Park, downtown Olympia.
Last weekend saw an historic collaboration between the Olympia Symphony Orchestra (OSO,our local community orchestra), and the Bridge Music Project, a Thurston County-based nonprofit organization which teaches youth how music and songwriting can be used as tools to deal with life's challenges. Smoke M2D6, whose new album Quarantine Heart Throb [KLP290] was released last month on K, has taught workshops at the Bridge Music Project since 2016 and participated in the collaboration with the Olympia Symphony Orchestra.
Olympia Symphony Music Director & Conductor Alexandra Arrieche led the collective music makers through a program entitled "Let It Rock" which included medleys of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story melodies and Nirvana's best known songs. The highlight though was when the Bridge Music Project's collection of music makers, which included Smoke M2D6, DJ Tor spinning the noize, vocalist Shayla Jasmin, and (Bridge Music Project Director) Double B as MC. The result was a smooth intertwining of beats, rhymes and orchestral accents riding a symphonic hip hop conglom.
This collaboration grew out of a successful 2019 recording project that paired a handful of OSO players with Bridge Music Project rhythms. After a pandemic break and a change of Musical Directors at OSO the collaboration idea was renewed for this summer's outdoor concert. Fingers crossed the collaboration will continue into the future.
Above: DJ Tor turntable set-up for the Olympia Symphony Orchestra collaboration. Below: Olympia Symphony Orchestra, their Conductor Alexandra Arrieche, Smoke M2D6 and DJ Tor rock Heritage Park July 1.
Above: vocalist Shayla Jasmin treated the audience to two numbers that originated in Bridge Music Project workshops. Below: the Bridge Music Project souvenir stand at Heritage Park.