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BRING UP THE MUSIC, the future of concerts

Have you ever been to a classical music concert? I am asking those of you who have not had a special music training, very sophisticated grandparents or a very expensive education. No? Let me try and imagine what goes through your mind.

So you get to the concert hall, you eventually find your seat, manage to turn your phone off, and ...Here we go!

Musicians with black clothes walk on the stage. Orange is the new black, you catch yourself thinking. Do you clap? Another 20 people do, so you join. Ok, but those black musicians keep turning up. There are no claps for the ones who come after the 27th second. Sorry!

They all sit down. Silence. Oh, another one comes up. Must be awful to be late! However, this one looks at the audience and takes a bow. People clap. He turns around. A sound comes from somewhere and the orchestra stars tuning. All of a sudden it is noisy and lively. Once they are ready, the guy sits. More silence. Then yet another person walks on. That is the longest appearance of a band on stage ever! It is like a fashion catwalk only with very, very boring clothes. That one is even more important than the previous one as now everybody claps. The conductor! Let's hope they have all come out now. We were due to start awhile ago. The conductor waves and the band starts playing. That is so exciting to see that many people play music together! Ten minutes on they are still on the same piece which strangely reminds you of the tuning before the start. Twenty minutes later they are still there. You start wondering if it is ok to check your phone. Then, deciding against it, you switch off only to catch yourself woken up by the trombones. Eventually, in hour an a half you leave and swear never to come back.

Or let's try a different scenario: you have been invited to a jazz gig by a really cool Somebody who you really want to please. You get to the jazz bar. There is a crowd of very boring, stuck-up people, sitting quietly around the tables, all wearing glasses and smoking. All the musicians on the stage are inevitably black and wear caps. They start playing some popular tune but after a minute, the tune changes and you do not recognise it anymore. Everybody starts playing random notes and gets mental about it. The audience claps at completely random times. A perfectly normal 3 minutes tune lasts for half an hour! Everybody around you is serious and nods their head in some weird trance. Now, this is not music! It is a cult! Never again.

Or on the contrary, you are into jazz or classical music and you are forced to go to Glastonbury with your niece, who is in a world of self-hatred and despair because her boyfriend has dumped her for her best friend and she has nobody to go to the festival with. You end up in a crowd of drunken youths with rain boots, spilling their drinks all over you, shouting in complete state of lunacy towards a stage located seven miles away and on which a tiny figure of a pop start with a guitar is singing a song about the love he feels which will expire when he is 70. Never again!

And so on, and so on.

These are all very grotesque and exaggerated situations of our perceptions of what a musical experience must be like if we were to experience music we are not familiar with. Undoubtedly it is a huge ask to face new music as one will not only encounter an unfamiliar emotional territory, but will need to enter a completely new social scene. Hence not so curious and adventurous people choose to stay in their chosen musical boundaries and territories and not travel. Too much turbulence.

Well, I am offering you something new. Different, but safe. A concert which will take you to the many different establishments of music. You might not know who will be sitting next to you and what is their choice of music and neither you would know what would happen on the stage.

I can promise you that you will have an all round experience - from the fashion of different personal styles of the individual performers ( Guess what! They are all people with different brains, hearts and food preferences!) to the final dance (Yes, dance!). You will meet face to face some of the biggest enemies of your musical aesthetics and ... you might like them! You might even become friends.

So I say: Bring Up The Music!

Experience music in the most relaxed and surprising new way. You know why?

Because we want you in the concert halls, in the jazz clubs, in the fields ... anywhere where music will unite us and make us better, braver people.


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