Classical Music for Artists

George Crumb,  The Realm of Morpheus, from Zeitgeist,  Musical notation (1987)

George Crumb,
The Realm of Morpheus, from Zeitgeist,
Musical notation

Notes on Looking is undertaking a new endeavor in its mission to explore and support the creative communities of Los Angeles. In July 2010, David and I began the Parkfield Project, a series of retreats for artists in the small, Central California town of Parkfield. Colloquially, this project has been called Outward Bound for Artists; and to date the project has hosted some 150 artists for long weekends in the country. Additionally, three artist books have been published which contain individual responses to the experience. These publications have been collected by the Getty Research Institute and by every artist who has attended.
For this new endeavor, or perhaps it is an adventure, which is titled Classical Music for Artists, David and I are offering up to twenty artists a season ticket each to one of five concert series focusing on contemporary classical music: Piano Spheres (at Zipper Hall and at Red Cat), Monday Evening Concerts, Jacaranda Music, and the Green Umbrella series of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
David and I believe that music, like visual art, is best appreciated and understood through a sustained experience. I know that it was my own continued attendance of concerts that allowed me to finally relax and recognize patterns in the pieces I was hearing, and to hear and understand the differences and similarities among the compositions and among interpretations of the performances of the same composition. (I wonder if that old saying, “Music tames the wild beast” refers not to any calming effect of music, because much that is music is not calming, but rather to the fact that the abstraction of music recognizably makes sense, even to an outsider; and that once said outsider, or “wild beast” picks up on the sense of it, the “beast” becomes engaged in the process of learning and listening to music.)
We also believe that contemporary classical music and contemporary art are natural allies. One experiences the same complexities in music as in visual art; the composer and the artist each have similar opportunities to comment upon and to critique culture in their work; and too, autobiographical material may be given universal voice through art and music.
To remain consistent with both Notes on Looking and the Parkfield Project, we ask that each attendee be prepared to provide some kind of response to their musical experience. This response may be written, it may be a sound file, the report may be images. As with Notes on Looking and the Parkfield Review, each individual may choose their own way to talk about what they got out of the experience.
If you would like to attend a series, please reply to this message, or send an email to [email protected] with a brief statement of your interest (100 words or less). In this statement, tell which series you would like to attend, and affirm your commitment to attend all the concerts in the series. (The twenty season tickets will be distributed equally among the five series.)
Note that Piano Spheres, Green Umbrella and Monday Evening Concerts are all located in downtown Los Angeles on Bunker Hill, and Jacaranda is located in Santa Monica, on 2nd Street.
Websites for these series may be accessed here:
Thanks once again for the time you spend with Notes.

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