If you haven’t heard of something called a “house concert”, well, it’s pretty much just what it sounds like: A small-scale musical performance in someone’s home or apartment, with maybe a few dozen or so audience members sitting on sofas and chairs or just plopped down on the floor. Usually a hat is passed around at the end to collect money. A pretty cool idea in this age of giant festivals and Enormodome arena shows!
Over the past few years, GroupMuse has brought people together to put on over a thousand classical music house concerts around the world. They have a Kickstarter campaign to help support and expand their mission. It’s in the last few weeks, and I encourage you to consider backing it if you can (I have!)
Anyway, as a tie-in to the Kickstarter, the founder of GroupMuse did an insightful “Ask Me Anything” interview recently. A few highlights…
The truth is, when classical music institutions are only beholden to the patronage class, the experience and atmosphere is invariably a reflection of that class. We want the experience to be an active reflection of the component members–listeners and performers [...] so that it doesn’t just reflect the priorities of benefactors who can’t be alienated, for fear that un-diversified support would dry up.
“Classical music needs saving!” is actually the opposite of what we should rally around, because if you say “classical music needs saving” to someone who doesn’t yet care about or identify with classical music, it’s kind of like saying “blacksmithing needs saving!” The response is often, “I don’t care; why not just let it die?”
The rallying cry needs to be “Our world needs saving, and classical music can do that!”
From a social perspective, classical music works so well just because it’s so scalable. No equipment, no amplifiers. All you need is four chairs and a floor!
You can read the whole shebang for yourself over on Reddit.