A few weeks ago, Christina and I played an interesting concert at ArtisanWorks, a local Rochester art gallery, with an organization called Sound ExChange.
Sound ExChange is a student-run organization that is dedicated to “exploring alternative ways of presenting music to reinvigorate the concert experience and engage audiences.” I played at one of their concerts last year, a program that was held in an art studio at the University of Rochester. That was very cool, because they seated the audience inside the orchestra, rather than facing the musicians. I had a little girl who looked like she was six or seven sit next to me and stare at the harp with bug eyes the whole time. It was really fun to see that and other peoples’ reactions to being so close to us.
Anyway, this concert was at ArtisanWorks, the coolest art gallery I’ve ever seen. It seemed like every square inch of space was covered in art - paintings, antiques, and miscellaneous interesting objects. The first half of Sound ExChange’s event was actually a series of musical performances going on simultaneously in different rooms - Christina and I played our duo program, and a few student dancers created choreography to go with some of the pieces. I love dance (watching it, not doing it myself) so I was really excited to be involved in this. It’s something I would want to do more of in the future.
Thanks to Kristina Finch for taking pictures!
The second half of the event was a concert consisting of new chamber music (with lots of percussion and saxophones), culminating in the performance of a new work in which everyone - musicians and audience - had a part. I sat in the audience for this piece, and it was probably one of the best concert experiences that I’ve ever had, because it really felt like we had an important part in the music. All the sounds that we had to make - saying someone’s name, playing a music box or a noisemaker, etc. - seemed necessary, and not just filler to give us something to do. And the piece, I thought, was pretty awesome.
In other news, I’m not 100% sure where I will be in September, but this summer I will be playing in the pit orchestra for the Ohio Light Opera! And getting PAID for it! One pinky toe in the door!!!