Tuning the Concert

Gold Arts Award Portfolio

An Alternative Way: The Night Shift May 30, 2010

Some music organisations are already leading the way in presenting the concert in a different format for example the The Night Shift series by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

It still offers a live experience of classical music, but in a slightly altered format. There are some key aspects that make it more appealing to a broader audience.

  1. Late start of 10pm Cooler like a gig. Different event and audience to the earlier one at 7.30pm – high proportion of young people in the foyer.
  2. Could take drinks into the auditorium – this is usually not allowed in auditoriums while it is common practise at gigs, jazz clubs etc.
  3. Pre-concert live band Though some concerts have pre-concert talks and workshops it is quite unusual for a non-classical pre-performance to take place. This acknowledges the fact that classical music fans don’t just like classical music. It makes the evening more a appealing to one who is unfamiliar with classical music as they are slowly introduced to classical instruments in a format that they are probably more familiar (band in a bar) and then go onto the hard core stuff during the main concert.
  4. Spoken word Presenter on stage who introduces the pieces, interviews the musicians and asks for demonstrations = very cool, assumed didn’t know very much about music and nicely broke up the concert with dialogue. Casual way of talking – called people by their first names. Flautist introduced rest of the woodwind section by their first names – felt like a friendly family. Celebrity appearance of Goldie to reinforce the fact that cool people attend classical concerts.
  5. Alternative programme notes Explains exactly what and when everything happens during the course of the evening.
  6. Audience behaviour Presenter informed audience at the beginning when to clap – this helped break up the symphony, as we clapped between the movements. Also had cheering and wolf whistles from the audience. People laughed at the boring bassoon part. Whispers towards end of concert. Encouraged to get up and get drinks during the concert. Problem as hard to leave seat without disturbing people.
  7. Interactive Imaginative feedback forms – had to write one word to describe how the concert made you feel. Gave audience members cameras to document the evening – later shared on flickr. Audience member to be voice for podcasts. Conventional feedback forms -but chance to win free tickets.

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The Conventional Classical Concert: analysis May 20, 2010

Filed under: 1B: research — concerttuning @ 8:46 pm
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There are some notable conclusions that can be drawn from my experience of a conventional concert:

La Belle France, 29 April 2010

Motivations

  • The price influenced my attendance
  • The timing was convenient
  • I understood the programming and recognised something about it

Pre-conceptions

  • Previous musical experiences and knowledge helped me anticipate the event
  • My preference of the composers has been reaffirmed by others in my peer group
  • The soloist is a draw. We want to be able to made informed choices with internet footage being vital.
  • Having appeared on TV it places the soloist in the sphere of normality
  • I like novelty

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The Conventional Classical Concert: Review May 1, 2010

La Belle France, 29 April 2010

Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford | John Rutter and Catrin Finch

Motivations

I chose to attend this particular concert, as I knew I could get a free ticket through work, I was free that evening as my boyfriend intended to work, and I liked to sound of the programme with Debussy and Ravel.

Pre-conceptions

I knew I liked Debussy and Ravel as composers – I did a course at uni about La Belle France focusing on music in Paris around 1900. I’ve played a few works by the composers including Debussy’s La Mer with my Youth Orchestra and Ravel’s Piano Trio at University though I wouldn’t be able to hum any tunes now. On itunes, I have an album of Ravel and Debussy’s piano works. Other friends have also commented how they like these composers.

I was also interested in seeing the soloist. It was a harpist, which is a beautiful instrument in itself. Through tweeting at work, I learnt a little more about the soloist, Catrin Finch. A volunteer at work who I invited to the concert also emailed me some You tube links of the soloist playing. I was impressed how she did conventional repertoire as well as fun things in electronic settings with bright lights etc. She has also been on TV.

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