On this tour of Asia, I’m looking forward to playing an unusual “community” concert with four fellow CSO musicians in Seoul, the community being folks from the US Embassy, a South Korean youth orchestra and aspiring young musicians who are North Korean refugees.
While every outreach concert I’ve played in is a positive experience and an adventure, it’s gratifying when our efforts to reach audiences beyond the concert hall are appreciated and understood. I recently reread a two-year old article that was written by a Canary Islands reporter after our quintet played at a community center there. Amid the post-concert bustle, she had called to me, as we left the stage, asking how we had enjoyed playing for this particular audience, a group of students, poor people and adults with various disabilities. I blurted out that this is where music has its greatest meaning. I hadn’t realized I was talking to a journalist, but she turned my soundbite into a passionate article and amusing social statement. The article is still available in Spanish at http://www.canarias7.es/articulo.cfm?id=322645
Noting the approval of the listeners in wheelchairs (“trapped in disobedient bodies,” if I read it correctly) at our intimate and informal performance in street clothes (“vestido de calle”) as opposed to the glittering stars and local celebrities at the two nights of orchestra performances downtown, she points out that it was an afternoon of people being entertained with something novel, being allowed to forget that their illness is one of forgetting.
As we prepare for our Embassy concert in Seoul, i can only say that we are looking forward to more nice surprises.