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1 or 2 — Episode 9: Ara-Viktoria

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Tip jar for Ara-Viktoria

The 1 or 2 socially distanced performance series was started to connect Columbians with local artists when seeing them in person is difficult (and to give those artists a paycheck to get paid when they are rare). But with each passing week, I continue to be floored by how well these sessions reflect — through a Soda City-centric lens — the weirdness of living during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week’s presentation from local singer Ara-Viktoria is no exception.

She performs alone in front of the Ra Obelisk, one of the city’s most identifiable pieces of public art, its shape a symbol of strength and determination, but also isolation. She bends her pipes — resonant and expressive — toward “Can I Use You,” a desperate search for hope through human connection, backed by piano and a backing chorus, both pre-recorded. The solitude of her physical circumstances is profound, but so too is the determination, expressed by her performance, to push through dark and lonely times.

Free Times remains grateful to our partners in the 1 or 2 series — One Columbia, Richland Library and SceneSC — for helping us keep it going.

To check out the other installments, all of which are freely accessible without an online subscription, head to free-times.com/1or2. JORDAN LAWRENCE

(SHOT AND EDITED BY DAVID STRINGER)

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