Tonight at the fortnightly dinner meeting of Rotary Club Utrecht International, I invited my fellow Rotarians to our next house concert of 17th April. I said that my duo was showing others how to organise and produce concerts from their private homes to 1) create new performance opportunities for musicians and 2) reach new audiences. Such collaboration is part of a new effort to find and develop new concert venues.
Just under half of our members were there tonight, but everyone took time to look at the intricate design of the artist Elsbeth Carp, who will be hosting the concert in her home.
One member thought that the font type conveyed gothic or heavy metal music. Another thought the piano keys were a bar code. The bartender thought the picture showed a map to her house.
“People will notice it, if you put it up.” It was not a standard A4 size. It’s hand-drawn.
From a distance you could see the shape of a guitar. Up close, you’d have to be a guitar player to see the curves. I was surprised that the piano keys weren’t so obvious as they were to me.
One thing for sure: the invitation card became a topic of conversation. Zoom in on the text at the bottom of this blog entry.
Earlier this morning, Elsbeth had stopped by our home to deliver the invitations hot off the press. They were too nice to give away and yet,unless I pass them to our neighbours and nearby houseboats, no one would know about this concert.
I asked the same of my fellow Rotarians. Share this with others who may enjoy and benefit from such a gathering. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy live chamber music than in a house with the hostess. The 19th century salon concerts had that feel. It’s been lost to commercial concert halls too big for intimacy.
Last December we gave a taste of that house concert experience. We provided our home; they cooked and brought the dinner. The kitchen was filled with exotic, savoury dishes representing the different cuisines of our international Rotary Club.
After dinner and drinks, as is the usual custom, we settled down for a presentation or a show. Together with fellow Rotarian Elisabeth on the violin, we played a piece that I had arranged a few years ago. “Ding dong merrily on high” for violin, piano, and guitar. The score is freely downloadable. The second time we all joined in the singing (captured by Sonia on her hidden video camera below).
Normally we are musicians in search of an audience. On this occasion, the audience was in search of musicians. Unfortunately we hadn’t prepared to give a concert then as our new programme for 2010 was still being stewed. The new menu has to be tested, refined, and perfected just like a new recipe. Three months later , our programme is ready, and we’re searching for an audience.
I learned at the previous meeting that there are 71 Rotary Clubs in our district. How many more Rotarians would enjoy such an intimate evening of live music? I will find out when I write to those clubs.