Tuning the Concert

Gold Arts Award Portfolio

Late night concert: Ignite June 29, 2010

Filed under: 1C: Reviews — concerttuning @ 9:10 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I went to a late night concert in the bar of Wigmore Hall on Friday 25 June. A group called Ignite played contemporary music, many of it specially commissioned for the ensemble consisting of clarinet, flute, violin, double bass and percussion.

Wigmore Hall describes the formation of the group:

As part of our outreach work, Wigmore Hall has formed Ignite, an ensemble of young professional musicians led by the composer and percussionist Jackie Walduck.

The ensemble focus on devising accessible projects which engage with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Ignite lead an ongoing project in St Mary’s Hospital, running music workshops in the children’s wards.

I initally found out about the concert through their learning brochure but it was also listed on mutliple websites including Time Out who described the event as below:

Time out listing

A late night concert with Ignite, an ensemble created by Wigmore Hall, which presents a 45-minute concert of contemporary music. Expect cutting-edge compositions with fiery improvisations and pieces by some of London’s leading composers, all in the informal setting of the Bechstein Bar at Wigmore Hall.

It is another example of presenting classical music in a new format – at a later time, with a short programme, cheap tickets at £3 and in an informal atmosphere. There was a mixed audience including some young people and some students with instruments.

Wigmore Website

Advertisements
 

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.

(more…)