This post is on a concert that happened yesterday on a group that I started this semester with Anna Marshal and Kenken Gorder named Cake trio. First the main deets.
We played an hour long concert with no intermission yesterday at High Ground Cafe featuring works by Poulenc, Sampson, Francois and Ewazen. This concert was also a benefit for the ACLU and we raised $120! More on that later.
First a couple things about yesterday that I thought were really cool. We came together as a trio and ventured into something above and beyond the expectations for our trio, that was largely put together for the sole purpose of taking a chamber credit. It is so different performing in the recital hall, or concert hall than it is performing in a cafe. I was a little apprehensive (as were the people working there) about how live the sound was in the cafe for brass ensemble music. However, I think because we were a trio and not a quintet we were able to make it work. I am really proud that we were able to go into the cafe sight unseen, squeeze into a tiny corner, and perform our program in a respectable (all be it quieter version) manner. Even with all the distractions of a busy environment, in a place where we are not sure exactly how things are going to go over we pulled it off.
Some thoughts on what made this concert work. We ( and by we I mean mostly Kenken) got someone to read poetry between the movements of the Sampson pieces. I am surprised how little collaboration I see with chamber music and poetry. I have no idea what the poems were about, but the music made the poetry seem relevant, and the poems did the same for the music. Each added a weight to the other that before had not been there. I also think it is cool to clear the air after a movement with spoken word, and not just constantly bombard the audience with sound. This also gave our program a little more credibility. We weren't just there to run down our program, but were really trying to give a nice hour of artistic expression. We also had an artist drawing/painting to our pieces.
I was really glad that we followed professor Schendel's recommendation and mixed in flugel horn and euphonium on half the pieces. These instruments were a little easier to blend at the softer dynamic, and the more rounder sound worked well in the cramped space.
I also can't believe we actually raised money. It feels good knowing that we did something positive for the world, even in our own tiny way. It's easy to feel defeated all the time, not knowing how to help or make change. Being able to give to a great organization that is helping people in need meant a lot to me, and I hope to do it again.