MADE Maven October Issue MADE Magazine - Page 24

MADEART HEALING Music can heal the physical Hyde Park’s Promontory (November 2017) and wanted to know if I wanted to accompany him on his hit tune Chi Town. Being on the same stage with those two giants was a dream come true! I’ve been performing steadily ever since. CHANGE Music can create social When I was a student, I did recitals in quiet halls and people would clap politely. Today my shows are fun and loud. I’m covering dance songs, so things can get very lit VERY quickly. In fact, my aunt helped me to invest in an electric cello because my acoustic wasn’t cutting it in larger venues. My mum jokes that I’m the world’s only twerking cellist! body. Once, after a SugarStrings concert, a woman told us that she came in a wheel chair with physical pain due to sickle cell. However, after listening to our performance, she was able to get up and walk because our music relieved her pain. change. Every era is known by its music and the iconic figures that use music as a tool to change lives for the better. You stopped playing the cello for awhile—why did you stop? What moved you to start playing again? My first major at the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana was music. I hated it so much I switched to a double major in Economics and Environmental Sustainability. After graduating, I went for my master’s in Higher Education at Loyola. In the meantime, I’d become fascinated with YouTube videos where classically trained string musicians were improvising to rap/ trap tunes. I felt so inspired I picked up my cello to try. Easier said than done. I didn’t know anything about improvisation. Classical musicians are taught how to read music, but we’re never encouraged to take extreme liberties and put our own spin on tunes. I decided to try fusing the classical I knew with my love of trap/popular music. Mask Off by Future was my first YouTube challenge. Since then, I’ve covered Cardi B, Beyonce, Big Poppa, and more on YouTube and Instagram. This is all still new. We classical musicians are pioneers, infiltrating popular music and exposing hip hop/R&B lovers to our unique interpretations. I was surprised when Phor, from Black Ink Crew Chicago, contacted me. He was opening for Twista at Where do you see yourself a few years from now? I see myself touring all over the world, with a community outreach component in each location, playing the cello, experimenting with technology, and entertaining audiences. I’d like to be a philanthropist musician. In January 2019, the Yanna Cello Foundation officially launches! Our mission: to make positive change in at-risk communities through music and the arts with a focus on youth, crime prevention, and urban sustainability. I plan to start my PhD program in my early thirties. My research will focus on using classical music to prevent and reduce youth crime and incarceration rates. What would be your dream venue in which to perform? I’d love to perform at the Acropolis in Greece and Carnegie Hall in New York. Locally, I’d love to perform in every Chicago venue that is equipped for live music, no matter how big or small! | 24