Greetings for the new week, and welcome to my  occasional blog.  If you are new to this blog, as I build my email database or respond to enquiries to join up, welcome.

There is a news item via Music Australia about classical music in unusual places, that looks at initiatives that take classical music to different, and what we might consider, unlikely places, such as shopping malls, street corners, car parks, derelict buildings.  This is not new – musicians are ever-inventive people, with musicians I have known over the years taking music to a variety of unusual places, such as Michael Fortescue taking the double-bass to eclectic places around Tasmania, or Australian composer Martin Wesley-Smith presenting enormously creative and extraordinary visual and audio pieces at Wattamolla Beach, as just a couple of examples.  However, it is in the news at the moment, with this particular article referring to the Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s role as ‘artist-in-residence’ at Brisbane’s domestic and international airports through ‘pop up’ performances there, and Opera Australia’s new presentation of Alan John’s wonderful opera of 1995, ‘The Eighth Wonder’, on the steps of the Sydney Opera House rather than within its opera theatre.  As the tickets seem to be no less expensive, I wonder what the point is.... But am I simply not being open to the new, to the inventive?    I would be interested to know what you think – you can read the full article by clicking here.

What I do love is music that connects people with music and with each other in whatever means possible – music in our community and for our community.  I love the ‘flash mobs’ – that might be ensembles and orchestras, choirs and so on who appear as if out of nowhere in train stations, shopping centres, open spaces.  I am sure you have seen some of them – there are loads of examples on YouTube – I particularly like this version of Beethoven’s 9th symphony in Barcelona – check it out by clicking here.  I love the looks of surprise and joy on people as the music emerges unexpectedly in a place they are simply walking through.

I had the pleasure of having a little holiday sojourn in New Zealand a couple of weeks ago, and was delighted to find this piano – which you can see in the photo below – on Wellington’s harbour foreshore, on the way to the extraordinary and wonderful Te Papa Museum.   A teenager was playing it for a little while – and well – surrounded by her friends before I was able to have a little play myself.  Out-of-tune but it didn’t matter.  It was magical to make some music on this lovely offering to all who passed it by.

This week’s music  is the signature music from my previous album, ‘Meditation on Love’, which was written 6 years ago for my friend Ellen and her then husband-to-be, Christopher, in Canada on the occasion of their wedding.  Happy anniversary, Ellen and Chris, and Happy Birthday, dear Ellen, for last week.

As always, for more details go to http://www.petawilliams.com.au/music_cd_baby/ .

Until next time,

 

Peta

PS Scroll down to the bottom of this web page to play the featured music.

Photograph:  piano on the waterfront in Wellington, New Zealand, September 2016
(photograph taken by Peta Williams)

Comments

2016-09-20 05:12:55 - Peta Williams
Thank you, dear Ludmila, for you lovely comment, and thank you, dear Michael, for your informative comment about what is going on at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. I was so pleased to read that this hospital has a policy of employing musicians to play in its foyer; a still quite enlightened policy, even though the music therapy literature has indicated for some time the positive nature of such musical interventions. In a different workplace, I recently trialled a 45-minute per week music session over 6-weeks for 'quiet time' at the neighbourhood centre that I work at in Blaxland, where people could drop in for a minute or 5 or stay for the whole session, to just have some 'quiet time' for themselves, to just sit and 'be', listening to piano music (yours truly on piano)- a mixture of classical, popular, folk and original. The feedback I had from these sessions was very moving; people seemed to really treasure this time to nourish themselves, and to allow themselves this time to simply 'be'. It was a privilege to play for them, and to enable this process for them. Love, Peta
2016-09-19 17:17:39 - Michael Doneman
I'm coaching a doctor at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, and they have a policy of employing musicians to play in their (sprawling) foyer. I've had the privilege of hearing a solo harpist - twice - and a (fairly subdued) jazz combo. You're right, Peta, music connects people, but also, in this stressed environment, it's like a release valve. I saw this in changes to body language and interactions between people in that place. Yours is a noble practice!
2016-09-19 16:04:40 - Ludmila Doneman
Dear Peta, what a beautiful gift on a morning like this. I am sure it calmed, lifted and cheered up not just me at the start of the day. Very best to your day too, love Ludmila
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