Friday, June 22, 2007



The season of calm is setting in. Julian has finally chilled having moved home - meaning his website home which he assures me is as all consuming as moving actual home - and we are finally free to consider the first lavender over in the Luberon (the sea of same plus smellies in its name at Sault on the other side of the Ventoux coming soon), the ultimate granite work surface, the perfect tap, the possibility of a stone sink (rejected), lunch on herby leaves and artisanal berry sorbet in bonnieux, and an aperitif in the vines with a chopped tomato slathered on garlic-infused toast. Thismorning we walked for an hour and a half in amongst vines and wild flower meadows, over-run, because of the recent rain, for the first time by the mallow flower after which our hamlet is named.

Meanwhile, while I should have been mixing fromage blanc, ammonium, smoke black 'n green pigments and wax to paint the doors, I was having a clean girlie lunch with the lovely
Kate thinly disguised as discussing further chamber music and wine projects...

We are interested in bringing together the listening and the tasting experiences - giving people permission to hear or see or taste or feel or remember whatever it is that they do without feeling they don't 'know enough'; to have their own experience and know that it is valid. We are also interested in building a local audience rather than a touristy one. So here's the question:

The idea has come up of doing a concert in which we play a piece, discuss how we feel about it, answer questions and then play it again. Goodness knows how many times I have listened to my favourite music (Andras Schiff playing the Bach partitas possibly three thousand times, Haendel's Theodora close to two, and Steven Isserlis' Bach suites which have just come out already in the thirties and looking forward to the rest of my lifetime digesting them) but we all know music gets better each time we hear it. I am not Andras Schiff, nor am I Steven Isserlis, but still, why not one piece twice in a concert?

I would love some feedback.



Blogger Louis Boileau said...

I have often been to concerts when I thought to myself, "Geez, I wish they'd play that again!"

1:32 AM  
Blogger Zuleme said...

I think it's wonderful idea. I hope to be in France for a while next summer.
But would you talk in French or English?

12:49 PM  
Blogger ruth said...

thanks louis and zuleme.

we would talk French in France of course! (scareee!) I am thinking also of reading some of Steven Isserlis' kids books about the relevant composers which are great.....

7:11 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

It's a great idea. Why not indeed?

The sight of that lavender field made me go "ooooh!!" How incredibly gorgeous, large, and so calm.

Miss you!

3:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea to allow the audience to ask questions, to explain, to make comments, and more. How many times have we wondered about a piece and its nuances or how the performers felt about it, but never could know because of lack of opportunity to ask. You would be affording a much needed service, even if it is not voiced much yet. After you begin, you will find your audience will love the opportunity to respond. And then, to hear the piece again, with that information in mind!

4:56 AM  
Blogger granny p said...

I'd love hearing stuff again. New music needs it for sure - but anything would be good; how can you hear the cello suites too often - and you'd hear them better too after that.

PS. Why does your blog always leave me feeling hungry. For food too.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

I think it's a terrific (and subtly very subversive) idea.

7:29 PM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

I think it to be a very nice idea. It would have to be before a small group - in a large hall it would not feel the same. But yes, to talk and play again so that people would pay attention to parts you discussed would be nice.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Bitterroot said...

I second the sentiments of all above: a wonderful idea. Jeffrey Siegel in the US does an annual series that is a variant on this concept. It is called "Keyboard Conversations." He talks first about the music and the composer and plays certain passages to illustrate musical points. Then, after this introduction, he plays the piece in toto. After the whole concert, there is a Q&A with the audience, usually numbering over 100 people. This type of interaction is quite magical.

1:32 AM  
Anonymous mig said...

that is a very fine idea, ruth.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Erin said...

That's a nice idea... sometimes we do study day things at work, in the Purcell Room or somewhere like that, where a chamber group works through something and talks about it and brings in speakers about certain aspects of the work. We're doing it in 2008 with Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time. That's a whole day though - it would be nice to see a shorter version of it.

10:32 PM  

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