The concert would be held on the top floor of an old factory with brick walls and structural supports jutting out into the room. Around the room would be a balcony with an iron hand rail where you could overlook the whole space. At the far end of the room would be a large window divided into foot-wide squares with a spectacular panorama of a city.
The venue would double up as an art gallery with a constantly changing selection of art work on display, with some items for sale. Audience members could arrive early for the concert to look at the art work or to buy drinks at the bar/cafe. Between the structural supports would be cosy alcoves lit with ambient lighting where people could intimately talk.
The evening would start dramatically when all the lights were dimmed into near darkness while an intense spotlight marked out a lone artist. The musician would play a short piece from memory of no more than 5 mins. It could be baroque to modern as long as it was captivating. The idea would be to turn heads and draw people in to listen.
After the applause the lights would rise slightly and a presenter for the evening concert would come to the spotlight. He/she would invite people to take a seat around the artist whether a vintage armchair, beanbag or cushion. Drinks would be permitted in the performance area. Alternatively people would be free to wander around the gallery or watch from the balcony above. He/she would open up a dialogue with the artist, discussing the work they just heard and offering the audience an alternative insight. No snobbishness would be allowed and people would be encouraged to speak in normal everyday language. There would be no concert programmes but if an artist chose, they could write in chalk on the walls as well as choosing which art works they wanted to be surrounded by.
The evening would then proceed with solo or chamber musicians performing for a 40 minute slot with another 15 mins spoken dialogue, either interspersed between the works or before or after. They would be located in different areas of the space to offer variety and utilise the best acoustic. The musicians would be given the freedom to programme music they wanted to perform and felt passionate about. Modern works would be encouraged as well as less familiar repertoire, as long as they prepared the audience accordingly for the experience. Other artists would be welcomed it they wanted to combine music with dance, storytelling or theatre. Variety throughout the evening would be desirable.
Audience members would not be expected to stay for the whole evening, but could choose to come for an hour or two. They would pay on exit depending on how many minutes they stayed for. There would be an opportunity during the dialogue for audience members to ask questions or meet the artists in the gallery afterwards. There would also be paper and arts supplies for people to purchase to allow them to draw the musicians, other audience members or the surrounding works of art.
In essence the evening would be an initiate, informal, small-scaled and cross-arts event.
P.S. if you hear of such an event, please let me know and I will be there in a shot.