Duets in Social Distance

Following up on our successful poetry series From Collective Isolation, we present videos by five cohabitating couples, who are also musical collaborators, created during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of our favorite artists from our Full series perform from home while sheltering in place, keeping us connected through music.


Grex is an art-rock band based out of Oakland, California, featuring Karl A. D. Evangelista and M. Rei Scampavia Evangelista. In biological terms, a “grex” is an entity composed of several smaller organisms. Grex (the band) explores the meeting point between surreal songcraft and the dark outer reaches of experimental music.

Lisa Mezzacappa and John Finkbeiner

Bassist Lisa Mezzacappa and guitarist John Finkbeiner have been playing music together for many years, from avant-garde jazz and improvisations to Caribbean biguine, ska, and reggae. Mezzacappa leads several of her own ensembles in the Bay Area, composing music for groups ranging from duos to large ensembles. Finkbeiner performs in many of these configurations, as well as with the Miniwatt String Trio and Cory Wright's Fellow Hominids. Finkbeiner is also an in-demand recording engineer, and is co-owner of New, Improved Recording in Oakland, California, where this session was documented.

Theresa Wong and Ellen Fullman

Theresa Wong is a composer, cellist, and vocalist active at the intersection of music, experimentation, and improvisation. Her works include The Unlearning (Tzadik), inspired by Goya’s Disasters of War etchings. She is the founder of fo’c’s’le, a music label dedicated to propagating fresh sounds in avant-garde music from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. 2020 Guggenheim Fellow Ellen Fullman has been developing the Long String Instrument, an installation of dozens of wires fifty feet or more in length, since the early 1980s. This project encompasses the study of Just Intonation tuning theory, experiments with various wire alloys and gauges, the development of a tablature graphic notation system, and wooden resonator design and fabrication.

Adam Theis and Shaina Evoniuk

Husband-and-wife team Adam Theis and Shaina Evoniuk have been making music together for over ten years. With a collective forty years in the music industry, they co-operate the Bay Area’s artist collective and record label Jazz Mafia. When they aren't writing, recording, or performing music, Theis likes to skateboard and go running with their dogs, and Evoniuk enjoys gardening and going for long swims in the Bay.

Charlton Lee and Kathryn Bates

Violist Charlton Lee and cellist Kathryn Bates are members of the San Francisco based Del Sol String Quartet. The internationally acclaimed quartet is a leading force in twenty-first-century chamber music, championing music by living artists that explores aspects of social change, technology, and artistic innovation. Del Sol has premiered hundreds of works, released nine albums, and produces vibrant collaborations and educational experiences.