SIMONE BARON (b.1989) is a composer, pianist and accordionist. A listener of sounds beneath, within and beyond, her work is rooted in a deep curiosity about the creative process. Steeped in her Judeo-Roman roots, she reimagines a sound at the junction of the familiar and the avant-garde. Simone has appeared throughout Europe, Israel and the Americas. She is a grateful recipient of grants from Chamber Music America, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities. Simone is a Victoria Artist and plays a Poeta XB Accordion.
Simone’s path has always involved “navigating dualities,” as she puts it: “I’m a performer and composer, a pianist and accordionist, I speak several languages.” She was raised both in Italy and the Washington, DC area, the daughter of an Italian Jewish mother and a Baltimorean father with Ashkenazi roots. Drawing on this complex life experience of “translating,” she welcomes her listeners to be similarly at home within the ambiguity of it all. Upon completing her studies in piano and conducting at Tel Aviv University and the Oberlin Conservatory, the accordion, with its vibrant sounds and pulsing bellows, breathed new life into Simone’s musical world. Whether playing her way through forro, “classical repertoire”, or her own genre-fluid compositions, Simone’s accordion lends the music a sound at once old and new, replete with warmth and sustain, giving her ways to “guide the life,” of each note, as she puts it. “With accordion you can vibrate, you can swell, you can diminish — you have a lot more connection sound-wise with instruments that have that limited resources of air or bow length.”
About all the diverse musical spaces she inhabits, Simone says, “I see these worlds as different gestures,” speaking quite literally of the body. “Compositionally speaking, I’ve been thinking more and more like a choreographer, focusing on the mind-body connection. For me, improvising and composing is often about turning things off and letting my body do things, after it’s been steeped in all these languages — letting the body speak, because our bodies hold so much mysterious magic and harmony. It’s important to listen to that magic, shape it, and start a conversation with it.” www.thesimonebaron.com