By Laura Ferreiro
Renowned composer, chef and Smashing Pumpkins violinist Ysanne Spevack is orchestrating a unique, immersive experience featuring live music, plant-based, locally sourced food and much more, dubbed “Cacao in E Major.” The event will take place September 22 at the Alchemist’s Kitchen in New York City, and is the first in a series of YNTEGRITY project events that explore all of the musical keys and how they relate to the other four senses.
Ysanne — who is also known for authoring books on organic gardening and nutritious recipes in addition to her work as a musician — will lead the choir, The Conscious Chorus, which will interact with guests as they dine. In addition to Ysanne’s original compositions, guests will hear the exclusive debut of the song “Wild Wind” by Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman Billy Corgan.
What’s more, The Conscious Chorus will sing a live version of the debut single from artist Shepard Fairey’s new band, NØISE, which is set to be released the day after the event. The tune, ‘Little Lions,’ will be reimagined by the choir. “I’m excited that The Conscious Chorus are singing this epic new song as a mashup with the blessing of Shepard Fairey’s NØISE project,” Ysanne tells Music for Good. “Everyone knows they make conscious choices as a group of friends, including Shepard’s long-standing support for animals, and Moby’s vegan and non-profit activities. The new song is emotionally engaging and epic, and it’s perfect for my choir to sing! I’m grateful that my friends are sharing this with The Conscious Chorus in support of iFred.”
The inspiration for the unique event, dubbed a “feast for all five senses,” came to Ysanne after years working as a composer, an author and a cook. “It’s a natural evolution for me to now integrate into YNTEGRITY the neuroscience, psychology and technology elements, to enrich my compositions and the superfood-rich molecular menu I’ve developed over so many years,” she says. “Meeting celebrated neuroscientist Professor Pelli at NYU sparked an exponential growth in this integration process, but the foundation for YNTEGRITY was built slowly over the preceding three decades.”
Proceeds from the event will be donated to the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFRED), whose mission is to shine a positive light on depression and eliminate the stigma associated with the disease through prevention, research and education. Ysanne said that supporting iFred made perfect sense given the struggles with depression many artists face.
“Artists are sensitive by definition – that’s what makes us artists,” Ysanne explains. “We understand depression and meet it in our own lives and the lives of the people we surround ourselves with. I’ve lost friends to suicide, and experienced the depths of depression myself, as have most of my closest friends. On the bright side, I do believe it has deepened my connection with my circle.”
“It’s just wonderful to finally be at a point where I have deep confidence and experience in my music and food abilities, and the world is finally ready to accept that as an artist, we often express ourselves creatively in more than one modality,” she adds.