Music is a balm right now. But there's little comfort for musicians...a Guardian article
There's not so much about the classical music world in this article from the Guardian, but keep reading...
"In the classical music world, things are just as uncertain. Outside Britain’s big “portfolio” orchestras, most musicians are precariously employed. One conductor I recently spoke to drew my attention to an awkward fact: that audiences for classical music tend to be older, and will therefore be anxious about any return to past concert-going habits. He also mentioned his work with a choir in Yorkshire that has lost two of its members to Covid-19, and how important collective singing is to so many people’s lives. That simple pleasure, he reminded me, is suddenly reducible to “people in a room where everyone’s breath is repeatedly coming out”.
Of course, to write about this in the midst of an international emergency might seem misplaced. But beyond the superstars, a lot of musicians are actually more vulnerable than people in other professions. To help them, you can buy the odd CD and record from an independent shop by mail order. Have a look at Bandcamp, the platform for independent musicians that supports them to a much greater extent than the services hosted by corporate record companies and big tech firms. The Musicians’ Union is hosting a crowdfunder for members facing hardship, offering emergency payments of up to £200. But all of us should also think about the wider context of this cultural crisis. Amazon’s share price has recently rocketed by a third. Netflix, all of whose offerings feature an ocean of music, is in the middle of a boom. Big tech, which has built so much of its power on downloading and streaming, will emerge from this period comparatively unscathed. Somewhere in those facts there may lie the key to how we keep music and musicians going, and avoid a dreadful silence that would make this crisis even harder to bear." (John Harris)
Amid all the gloom, the Chipping Campden Festival brings a welcome ray of light.
Thank you to The Telegraph for this - and you'll need a subscription to read the full article online, but...
"Music to our ears: how Britain's rallying around the classical music community
In these dark times for orchestras, Chipping Campden is showing the way. Ivan Hewett reports
Read the article here
Some interesting reflections on the effects of the current lockdown from Classic FM...
Some potentially positive effects of the corona virus on classical music from Classic FM
- Classical music is going online and being seen by more people
-Arts funding is in the spotlight and carries an important message
- Music education is at the forefront
-People have the chance to help musicians through hard times
Thank you Classic FM!
New Paths Music
Sadly another cancellation - but good comes out of bad once again...
At this moment we should have been taking our seats for the opening concert of the 2020 festival! Toll Gavel United Church would have been a-buzz with chatter and anticipation, and the sound of performers warming up would have been drifting through from the green room. This afternoon we would have had the chance to hear the concluding performance of our primary schools’ project, the children’s voices filling the Minster as they’ve already been filling their own school halls in rehearsals. The wonderful Katy Hamilton would have challenged us to think about how creative process and personal suffering can go hand in hand (oh how ironic at this time!). Our free rush-hour concert would have taken us to the heart of our Celtic theme, and would have been followed by a jovial meal at what is surely the best branch of Carluccio’s in the country (for whom we keep our fingers firmly crossed this week….). A glass would doubtless have been raised in the East Riding Theatre’s bar before our Poulenc concert there, and then we would have made our way back to the Minster, whose late night events have become such a treasured part of New Paths, where the day would have ended with Libby and Maria playing some of Bach's most profound music. And that would have been just Day One!
Sadly it was not to be, and we – like you – have been mourning what might have been. But one of our artists wrote to us this week, “I'm so sorry that your wonderful events can't happen this spring. But spring will come again.” How right he is! Let us all hold onto that in this strange and difficult time!
We have been absolutely overwhelmed by kind words and generous donations in the past weeks, and are enormously grateful for both, in equal measure. We have been reminded what a community New Paths is: performers, volunteers, audience and partners all come together in such a special way, and we’ve been touched by the kindness shown to us by all of those people.
Whilst nothing is the same as a festival in person, we thought at least we would offer a little reading material to fill the hours of self-isolation! We have uploaded the programme notes for a small representative sample of our concerts, along with links to YouTube performances and Spotify playlists (take your pick or listen to both and compare!). We hope you enjoy discovering some new music this way, and hope it helps alleviate the boredom.
Click here for reading materials and playlists
We wish you well at this strange time, and look forward to seeing you again once circumstances have changed.
With all best wishes
Roland and Libby
Blog written by Jill Davies, who runs the Severn Muses project as well as Chamber Music Plus.
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