Tuning the Concert

Gold Arts Award Portfolio

Young Creative wants informal concerts in intimate settings September 5, 2010

Filed under: 1D: issues — concerttuning @ 7:42 pm
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I met up with Susie Attwood, a stronger advocator of Non Classical, to hear her perspective on tuning the concert.

When asking what got her really excited about music, Susie replied playing her violin with others, like in a string quartet, while listening to music on her own. This contrast in wishing to be with others to perform, but wanting her own solitude to listen was an interesting point. Unpicking this statement apart illustrated her preference for a quiet, relaxed, totally absorbed way of listening, which she felt could not be achieved in a concert hall when she was too self aware of others. It is due to the record that this solitary style of listening is possible, but we decided though possible to recreate this with live musicians it may be a bit awkward!

Going back to the problem of the concert hall, Susie elaborated that the whole thing was too self-conscious. There is a set protocol to follow that has become like a ritual similar to that of a stereotypically bad image of Church with a silent reverence to the music.  It’s not relaxed nor is it fun. It is such a niche that people will only ever attend if their parents took them to concerts or if they played an instrument when they were young.  This makes it problematic for new comers, for example her non-musical friends will turn up late or don’t plan far enough in advance to book tickets.



What would your ideal musical experience/concert be? July 9, 2010

Filed under: 1D: issues — concerttuning @ 9:55 pm
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This is a really personal question and highlights the problem that you can’t programme something that everyone will like. However, out of interest I asked this question to Kevin Murphy at his interview on Wednesday 6 July.

He said that it would probably involve water as he likes the way sound resonates across water. He pictures it taking places at dusk in a beautiful location. Perhaps with music from two sides of the bank or even on a boat. The music would be contemporary so that it would be the first time anyone would have heard it.  A somehow there would be a form of participation so that the audience would go away with the vibrations still going through their bodies and with a smile on their face.

In short the elements of the concert would be:

water, dusk, contemporary, nature, landscape, participation

Kevin Murphy was very surprised on reflecting that in his ideal concert music wasn’t high up on his priorities. Instead the whole atmosphere around how you experience the music seemed to be crucial.