One-to-one concerts build support for music

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Flautist Sally Walker performing Debussy’s ‘Syrinx’ in the bush near Newcastle.

ANU MUSIC lecturers are at the forefront of an international music project launched at Kings Cross, Sydney, this morning (October 22).

In “1:1 Concerts”, musicians volunteer their time for a concert experience based on Marina Abramović’s ideas of “special connection”, further developed in Germany and now booming internationally, in which one musician performs to one audience member for 10 minutes at two, safe metres apart. What they’ll hear, and who will perform for them, is a secret.

The idea is to both provide safe, live music experiences for music lovers and to begin building support funds for musicians whose livelihoods have been impacted by coronavirus.

On hand this morning for the Australian launch were ANU lecturer in classical performance and flautist Sally Walker, soprano Taryn Fiebig, pianists Elena Kats-Chernin and Sonya Lifschitz, cellists Anthea Cottee, Daniel Yeadon and James Beck and oud player, Kim Cunio, head of the ANU School of Music.

Sally Walker. Photo: Keith Saunders.

Walker told “CityNews” that her involvement was part of her drive to fill all the “concert cancellation-created space” with philanthropic musical activities.

Coronavirus restrictions, she said, had decimated the arts and live music scene, and taken a toll on many thousands of people who sing, play, conduct, compose, stage, direct and produce.

But music goes on, and this one-to-one venture was started by three German musicians at a festival in Thüringen last year, and then at the start of coronavirus lockdowns in April. Since then, it has taken hold around the world with musicians from Berlin to Paris, Spain to Canada and now, to Australia, beginning in Newcastle in July.

At the end of each concert experience, Walker explained, the listeners are handed a pamphlet that asks them to donate to the Relief for Freelance Musicians Australia foundation founded by Australian soprano Nicole Car.

Performances are planned for Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart in the bush, art galleries, churches or gardens but not in concert halls.

Canberra performers will be Walker, Cunio, carillonist Thomas Laue and voice specialist Rachael Thoms – all from the ANU.

Free event, book here.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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