Video from Glass Vase House Concert

A few weeks ago, I received a DVD of video clips from the Glass Vase House Concert of 23rd May 2010 from Julian Scaff, the videographer and film maker. These clips, of varying lengths and file sizes, bring back sweet memories of that long day of sunshine, music, food, drink, and conversation.

A few weeks ago, I received a DVD of video clips from the Glass Vase House Concert of 23rd May 2010 from Julian Scaff, the videographer and film maker. These clips, of varying lengths and file sizes, bring back sweet memories of that long day of sunshine, live music, Egyptian dinner, home brewed beer, French wines, and delightful conversation.

During the first concert, something else was happening in the kitchen.

The second concert was divided into indoors (Baroque cello duo) and outdoors (harp). Here I am outdoors, in front of the garden house.

How can I get the video clips to the performers?

Even earlier, the photographer Serge van Empelen sent me a CD containing his art photos of the musicians. How do I display these for all to see and use?

These are all huge files — to big to send by e-mail. Someone with time, interest, and the right set of skills would be able to make a nice little movie of clips from the concert and a nice photo album. Any volunteers? Or should we have another concert to view the videos?

Musicologist reviews Glass Vase Concert

Every concert of the Monument House Concert Series is open to the press. Musicologist Emanuel Overbeeke’s review in Le Bon Journal is the first independent review of a concert of the series.

Every concert of the Monument House Concert Series is open to the press. However, the press doesn’t always get represented. No one who comes to these concerts, press or not, writes about them. I blog…. but I am the producer or the performer. I need a third party — an independent person to write a review.

By chance, I attended a research presentation by Dutch musicologist Emanuel Overbeeke at Utrecht University. His “Dutch music performed by Dutch orchestras” was so interesting that I invited him to come to the Glass Vase Concert of 23rd May 2010.

Today I’m pleased to see his review in Le Bon Journal. It’s the first independent review of a concert of the Monument House Concert Series.

Emanuel Overbeeke, musicologist
Emanuel Overbeeke, musicologist. Photo: Serge van Empelen

Lost: purple Gucci sunglasses from Lucca, Italy

Just before the doors opened for the Glass Vase Concert on Sunday 23rd May 2010, I noticed that I wasn’t wearing my purple Gucci sunglasses. The flood of people streaming in, first the musicians and then the early birds distracted me from looking for those beloved sunglasses. It was a day for wearing sunglasses, for the sun was direct and bold while the wind tame and nearly absent.

Just before the doors opened for the Glass Vase Concert on Sunday 23rd May 2010, I noticed that I wasn’t wearing my purple Gucci sunglasses. I was walking in and out of the house on a busy and important day, one that had taken over my life for a few weeks.

I had bought the pair at midnight in July 2007 before going to the Contemporary Music Festival in Cortona, Italy. The Italian saleswoman was clever to get my prescription fitted within 2 hours.

The flood of people streaming in, first the musicians and then the early birds, distracted me from looking for those beloved sunglasses. It was a day for wearing sunglasses, for the sun was direct and bold while the wind tame and nearly absent.

Only a few days earlier, I had taken a photo with those sunglasses of my reflection and the garden house in my friend’s sunglasses.

Reflection of Anne Ku in friend's sun glasses in May 2010
Reflection of Anne Ku in friend's sun glasses in May 2010

Below is a photo of me with the Gucci sunglasses in Paris in summer of 2009.

Anne Ku wearing Gucci sunglasses in Paris, August 2009
Anne Ku wearing Gucci sunglasses in Paris, August 200

The Gucci sunglasses case sat in the bookshelf. It was empty. I was sure I had left my sunglasses on the piano.

The next morning, Monday 24th May, I noticed a pair of clip-on sunglasses sitting on my grand piano. Did someone take my purple sunglasses by mistake or swapped for the clip-ons which I can’t use?

Clip-on sunglasses left at the Glass Vase Concert on 23rd May 2010
Clip-on sunglasses left at the Glass Vase Concert on 23rd May 2010

I wondered about the swap, for someone else had taken the wrong violin bow by accident. Maybe these are independent events.

Left on a wooden garden bench was a black fleece jacket (medium size) with Patagonia label and gloves in pockets. I shall have to e-mail all the guests if they have forgotten the jacket and clip-on sunglasses.

Black fleece jacket left at Glass Vase Concert in back garden
Black fleece jacket left at Glass Vase Concert in back garden

and the gloves….

AOG fleece gloves in pocket of Patagonia fleece jacket
AOG fleece gloves in pocket of Patagonia fleece jacket

Why musicians should collaborate with artists

Classical music can no longer exist in a vacuum. How can artists and musicians help each other? How can we repackage the experience of consuming live classical music?

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)

Music at the Glass Vase Concert 23 May 2010

The glass vase is where you donate your euros for this free concert to support young musicians starting out in their careers. A dozen musicians will be giving four different concerts on 23rd May 2010 in Utrecht. This also supports the Monument House Concert Series in its 4th year, named for the renovated Dutch monument house next to the peaceful Merwedekanaal which runs into the Amsterdamrijn Canal. The latter connects the Amstel River to the Rhine river in Germany.

What is the Glass Vase Concert? or rather, Glass Vase Concerts (with an s) as there are several different ones on Sunday 23 May 2010.

The glass vase is where you donate your euros for this free concert to support young musicians starting out in their careers. See illustration below.

Glass vase and Monument House Glass Mug
Glass vase and Monument House Glass Mug

The custom-designed Monument House glass mug, durable for hot and cold drinks, will be on sale at 10 euros each (including one serving of home brewed beer). This also supports the Monument House Concert Series in its 4th year, named for the renovated Dutch monument house next to the peaceful Merwedekanaal which runs into the Amsterdamrijn Canal. The latter connects the Amstel River to the Rhine river in Germany.

Doors open 14:00 with coffee, tea, and the usual greetings.

14:30 – 15:30 First Concert

Dutch pianist Leonie de Klerk will select from her Bachelor final exam concert which is already a well-balanced programme of Bach, Mozart, Prokofiev, Chopin, and Scriabin. What can be taken out to reduce 45 to 20 minutes? I certainly hope Chopin’s Ballade number 4 remains.

Chinese tenor Duo Pan, accompanied by Catalan pianist Carol Ruiz Gandia, will sing art songs of Mahler and an aria from Rossini’s Barber of Seville, among others from his forthcoming Bachelor final exam.

15:30 – 16:00 Break

16:00 – 17:00 Second Concert

In the second set, Russian harpist Maria Pozdynakova will play selections from her forthcoming Masters exam and competition. Hosokawa’s Gesine is a commissioned piece for a competition in Munich ARD, where Maria has participated. Legende was written by the famous harpist Henriette Renie and has a program – a poem about a knight,who’s being bewitched by elves. Pour le Tombeau de Orphee is a very atmospheric piece by Dutch composer Marius Flothuis.

The Baroque cello duo of American cellist Stephanie Hunt and Brazillian cellist Fernando Venturin will play selections from the following programme:

Giovanni Sammartini (1698-1750)  Sonata in a minor

  • Andante
  • Allegro
  • Minuet (Allegro)

Salvatore Lanzetti (1710-1780) Sonata XII in D Major from 12 Sonaten Op. 1 (1736)

  • Allegro
  • Andante Cantabile
  • Menuet

Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762) Sonata V in F major from Sonates pour le Violoncelle et Basse Continue, Op. 5 (1746)

  • Adagio
  • Allegro Moderato
  • Adagio
  • Allegro

17:00 – 17:30 Break

17:30 – 18:30 Third Concert

Dutch alto Nicky Bouwers will sing from Elgar’s Sea Pictures from her forthcoming Masters final exam concert. Accompanist Thijn Vermeulen will also give a piano solo programme of Poulenc and Ligeti from his forthcoming Bachelor final exam concert.

In each of the above concerts, the organisers will play a piece. French horn / piano, guitar solo, guitar / piano.

18:30 – 20:00 authentic Egyptian dinner will be served (please reserve in advance for headcount).

20:00 onwards, to 23:00

Dutch composer and vocalist Marianne Verbrugge will perform her own works, some in the jazz genre, accompanied by Dutch composer/pianist Henk Alkema and Austrian cellist Anna Schweizer. This will open the evening for a free-for-all “jam session” for the musicians and guests. The jam includes anything from old compositions to new improvisations.

For more information, visit http://www.pianoguitar.com/concerten/

Location: The Monument House, Keulsekade 25, 3531JX Utrecht, The Netherlands

Free parking

Max seating capacity (not including the dozen performers): 40