Saturday, October 6, 2007

Finlandia='This thing could go nuclear'

A very amusing article in The Guardian on the classical music code in movies:
"As a rule, film score classical music is used as a shorthand: Handel indicates that the snobs have arrived, Mahler that someone is about to die, but not before pouting about it, and Wagner is a sure sign that big trouble's a-brewing. This cultural semaphore system was established in the silent-film era, when no monster worth his salt would dream of making his entrance without the accompaniment of Bach's Toccatta and Fugue in D or something equally theatrical by Liszt. The tradition continues today: Vivaldi's ludicrously overplayed Four Seasons invariably indicates that the stuffed shirts are having brunch; Beethoven's Ode to Joy announces that Armageddon may be just around the corner; and anytime an aria by Verdi, Bellini or Puccini is heard, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone is going to get raped, stabbed, blinded, buried alive or impaled."

And here's something you all could help us with at concerts:
"He told me that at concerts he goes up to members of the audience he doesn't recognise, to say hello, ask them why they have come and what else they are thinking of going to..."

We should quiz potential orchestra members about why they don't join, too. Let us know what you find out so we can adapt and adjust to make the organization as inclusive as we can. We refuse to be static as the world changes around us--that's a sure path to failure.

The article goes on to mention Venezuela and something similar to our ASO-Go program:
"Both the Hallé and the Liverpool Phil have schemes by which people in the community bring groups to concerts. Ryans says one of these team leaders - all unpaid music lovers - will bring as many as 270 people to a concert. In the past, these were often groups of work colleagues going for a night out. What a brilliant audience- building model, with small cells spreading the message to the rest of society."

And he even gets around to the Random School:
" can people from the ethnic minorities (another naff term, like "working class" and "classical music" itself), be attracted?The latter problem is particularly acute for Maddock in Birmingham, with its large black and Asian population. Can the cultural chasm be bridged? "You've got to start at the youngest possible age," he says, "by getting people involved in youth orchestras and youth choirs. Their make-up is now much more typical of the general population in Birmingham than our adult chorus, for example, so there is a generational change there."

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