It could be a good thing to turn all the deserted churches into music centres, because of the acoustics. Music can go beyond words. Music can evoke feelings that words cannot. You can hear a tune and be struck by it. You want to hear it again and again.
Typical for this time of year is that many clubs start their cultural season. And so does the Bude Music Society. They offer a series of Sunday afternoon concerts during Autumn and Spring, plus a bonus concert in early Summer. Classical chamber music. When there’s a piano involved the concerts take place in Canworthy Water because they have a grandpiano, all the other concerts take place in St Martin’s Church, Killerton Road, a church with good acoustics.
This Sunday about thirty people showed up. And what did I see… grey hairs. Probably the average age was something like seventy. Is it because young people want to do other things on their Sunday afternoon?
The introductory talk was done by a knowledgeable person, Paul Drayton. He told us many interesting things, for instance about the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915), once mentioned as “the father of the future musician”. Scriabin used poetry as a means in which to express his philosophical notions.
A good example is his symphony called Prometheus: The Poem of Fire (1910). The piece includes a part for a machine known as a “clavier à lumières”, known also as colour organ designed specifically for the performance of Scriabin’s tone poem. It was played like a piano, but projected coloured light on a screen in the concert hall rather than sound.
It’s a good thing that young folks still want to learn to play music. To spend hours of their life time studying and mastering an instrument. They play in duos, trios, quartets, chamber orchestras, choirs, vocal soloists, and ensembles. So one could say, there are still enough people who like to play, but sadly the audience is shrinking.
Interesting too that old people in homes, who have forgotten their ability to speak, get lifted up when they hear a tune from their childhood. They remember the words, the tune, and everything comes back. Music must be in our veins, connected to all our senses.
This morning I’m spending some time investigating my music collection. I see cd’s by Philip Glass, Arvo Pärt, Leonard Cohen, Kate Bush, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, I have percussion, guitar, cello, Scandinavian music, composers like Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Bartok, Grieg, Sibelius, Chopin, Haydn, Bartok, lots of opera’s, French chansons, so much to choose from… Suggestions are welcome. Anyone happens to know a British composer?