Do you ever come across something so cool that you get a flutter in your stomach and you think “Could this actually be a thing that people are DOING?!”
I got a sensation like that when I ran across England’s “Contemporary Music for All” organization. This is a group dedicated to running “amateur contemporary music ensembles” – right now in the UK, Ireland and Holland, but hopefully worldwide.
What a fabulous idea for so many reasons:
- It takes the “edge” off contemporary classical music by getting people to actually play it – in concerts attended by their friends and loved ones.
- It gets people playing their instruments (again). I can’t count the number of people I’ve met who say “Oh, you’re a music teacher? I used to play [insert random instrument] and I loved it. I wish I still played. [sad trombone music]” (this is especially ironic if their primary instrument was the sad trombone)
- IT GETS PEOPLE MAKING MUSIC TOGETHER AGAIN. I may have subjected you to my rant about this (and none have heard it so often as my wonderful, long-suffering wife), but we’re in a freaky weird historical blip in which 99% of us consume music in solitude rather than making it together communally. Personally, I think this is sick and wrong. CoMA seems to be rectifying this and bringing people in the right direction.
Check out their webpage at http://coma.org. Also of interest is their collection of scores and their guidelines for writing new scores for a flexible ensemble of amateurs.
Of course, it’s similar to our own New Haven Improvisers Collective, but with an emphasis on “classical” style performance instead of free improvisation.
Who’d be into something like this in New Haven? Or in YOUR town?!