Why musicians should collaborate with artists


I have always been fascinated by artists. They don’t kowtow to corporate culture because they’re not in it. They are loyal to their own agendas, are intrinsically motivated, and, at least the ones I’ve met, are bursting with ideas. I like their independence and free spirit.

Pencil sketch of Anne Ku by Frances Ku, April 2010

Pencil sketch of Anne Ku by Frances Ku, April 2010

Classical musicians are a different bunch. I can say so because I am one of them. We are artists, too, but not “visual artists” or the kind I described in the previous paragraph. As classical performers, we interpret what composers have written and “realise” their music. As composers, we hope our music will get performed and published. We do music.

I wish it were THAT simple. The ideal situation, as a performer, is to get hired just to do the music, so that we can focus on delivering the optimal quality of music and not have to worry about anything else. Most musicians do exactly that: they focus on getting gigs.

In addition to getting gigs, I work with artists AND other professionals. They have much to add to my existence as a musician.

Classical music can no longer exist in a vacuum. I constantly hear that there’s not enough demand for classical music, live or recorded. But inherently I believe that every person is a potential listener and consumer of such music. How do we make listeners out of them? [This is the subject of another blog.]

How can artists and musicians help each other?

Visual artists want people to see their work. Let’s use live music to lure them to an exhibition and make people stay. Musicians need posters, flyers, and other imagery to publicise their concerts. We want photographs, videos, and other media to remember our performances. Let’s ask artists for help.

Pencil sketches of Anne Ku, Robert Bekkers, etc by Frances Ku

Pencil sketch of Anne Ku, Robert Bekkers, and other characters by Frances Ku, April 2010

How can we repackage the experience of consuming live classical music?

In our 5th year of producing the Monument House Concert Series, we are packaging four different performances in a social context at the next concert on 23rd May.

Human beings are social animals. We like to belong. We like to herd.

We don’t expect people to come just for the concert and leave. While some may do just that, we would like them to stay and mingle. So we’re offering drinks, food, and a chance to jam together at the end. Two professional photographers will be “recording” this event from their artistic perspectives. These will be the portraits to remind us of that shared cultural experience. There will be a silent auction of the artwork (below) commissioned for this concert.

Watercolour collage of Glass Vase Concert by Frances Ku for auction

Watercolour collage of Glass Vase Concert by Frances Ku 20 cm x 30 cm for auction

Can such an event exist without the live music? It can but it won’t be the same.

Next house concert:
Sunday 23 May 2010 Glass Vase Concert in Utrecht, Netherlands (1 page PDF)

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1 Comment

Filed under articles, culture

One response to “Why musicians should collaborate with artists

  1. Hello Anne Ku,
    Yes, I love to be in action and paint musicians.
    And also I like to make an exhibition with my paintings.
    But I am to bussy at the moment.
    Let us make an apointment in the future.
    Many greetings and lots of succes for your both,
    love Jeny

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