Nathan Chan is the assistant principal cellist at the Seattle Symphony. Courtesy of Seattle Symphony
Good morning. It’s Thursday, March 19, and here at The Stranger, in light of everything happening around us, we’re doing something different today. We are not starting the day with news. We are overwhelmed by news. We need something other than news, our morning round-up Slog AM, to start the day.
What we really need—what we all need—is hope. We need connection. We need a reminder of what’s good about being alive. Beginning now, and continuing every day until the human condition improves, we’re presenting a message of hope to the whole city from someone who has a gift to share. Today’s message is below.
We will be publishing a Message to the City each day at 8 am, and Slog AM is moving to 8:30 am.
Today’s message is from the musician Nathan Chan, assistant principal cellist at the Seattle Symphony, whose musical career began before the age of 2. If you’re watching this on your phone, plug in your headphones. If you’re watching this on a computer, watch it at full screen. It’s less than 5 minutes long, but it was made for you, in this moment.
Here is Nathan’s message to you:
“I think music has the power to unite us as a community and as a species,” he says. The piece he chose to play today shows us “the importance of finding one’s inner peace in times of discomfort or stress.”
Watch it as many times as it takes to be able to move on to the rest of your day. We will be watching it on repeat all morning.
Then go wash your hands, get to work, if you don’t have work join a book club, call a relative, write a letter (mail’s still legal), go for a jog (as long as you don’t go jogging in a group), stretch, or take a bubble bath. We hope you have a healthier, happier day than yesterday.
There will be another Message to the City tomorrow at 8 am, as well as Saturday at 8 am, Sunday at 8 am, and every day next week. If we have a next week.
Thank you, Nathan. Thank you so much.
Here’s a little bit more about Nathan… Portrait by Jiyang Chen
Cellist Nathan Chan made his musical debut at age three conducting the San Jose Chamber Orchestra. He has performed as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, The Royal Philharmonic, and the Albany Symphony, among others. Chan was a chosen artist for Fondation Louis Vuitton’s Classe d’Excellence du Violoncelle with renowned cellist Gautier Capuçon. Nathan earned his Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and has a growing internet presence with over 7 million views. Find him on Instagram and on Twitter @nathanchancello. Nathan studied with Richard Aaron at The Juilliard School, where he earned his Masters of Music. He is currently Assistant Principal Cello of the Seattle Symphony.