Tuning the Concert

Gold Arts Award Portfolio

The journey: Musician turned storyteller November 18, 2010

My artistic challenge was to develop new storytelling skills in the attempt to make my delivery of classical music more accessible.

Unless I know a piece of music very well and can anticipate what is going to happen next, I have a tendency to drift off when listening to music. I belive many new comers to classical music feel the same, as the music just washes over them. However, I find it easier to understand music when it has a narrative or is programmatic. For example, in Peter and the Wolf I like the way I can associate different tunes with different characters. If gives me something to focus on and keeps me engaged.

I wanted to build on this idea by using language to help guide what the listener should focus on. For this I realised I needed to improve my storytelling skills. I wanted gain to gain confidence in telling stories and learn any tricks of the trade. My final goal was to be able to incorporate storytelling with classical music.



The Journey so far: extend your own arts practice July 6, 2010

Filed under: 1A Summary: extend your own arts practice — concerttuning @ 3:23 pm

I’ve chosen to explore storytelling because eventually I would like to develop a way of using stories to help children and adults alike listen to classical music.

While most traditional storytelling uses music to accompany the story, I would like the music to be more of the focus of the attention using the story to help guide the listener through the structure of the work. Possibly, something more along the lines of how Peter and the Wolf is narrated. As I am a cellist, I would probably start with by setting my cello repertoire to stories and later performing them. Though I did-level drama, I am not an experienced storyteller so would like to develop this skill.

I am currently researching events in London and looking for storytellers to shadow. As I am unfamiliar with this area in the arts, it is taking a while to get my bearings. (Something people unfamiliar with classical concerts must feel).

Good resources so far have been:

www.crickcrackclub.com = the UK’s premier performance storytelling promoter and programmer

www.storybee.org = site where you can listen to professional storytellers