Why Classical Music Connects?

    Whether you’re a fan of classical music or not – whatever the definition of the genre these days – unless you’ve stopped reading the newspapers, watching TV, listening to the radio and have no broadband access, you will know that the buzz in industry globally continues to be…

    “Change – do not get left behind, be a part of it!”

    While the rest of planet developed and advanced at a frantic pace over 200 years, classical music sadly remained in a state of suspended animation with it’s roots doggedly set down in 19th century convention.

    The economic crisis of 2008 was not only a big wake up call for the world to radically reinvent this and other outmoded systems that were no longer beneficial to 99% of the human race but also started forcing classical music out of what some would describe as its “elitist” bubble without – horrors – a tried and tested blueprint.

    2008 was also the year when I decided to return to the music profession.

    After finding out what was going on in the industry worldwide, I felt compelled to come up with something which I felt would help bring about lasting, sustainable change. The embryonic idea for Classical Music Connects was conceived and in fact sums up the essence of all I believe – collaboration, community, connection.

    So What’s This All About?

    Classical Music Connects – which originally launched as Get Mazza to America in July 2011 – has evolved from being a one person project with a set end date to an ongoing much wider collaboration with like-minded inspiring musicians across five countries.

    Offering low-cost gigs and workshops at unconventional venues across 2 continents, we’ll be live-streaming performances and make recordings available for all to watch and enjoy.

    Classical Music Connects is designed to be completely self-sustainable and, being passionate that classical music is directly relevant financially as well as spiritually to communities across the globe, 20% of event proceeds are destined for good causes local to event venues.

    Everybody benefits in a tangible way – the musicians, the venues, local communities and small neighbourhood charities.

    The Heart of the Project – Collaboration, Community and Connection

    Classical Music Connects does not rely on subsidies or gifts from patrons.

    Its continuing existence is a result of simple grass roots team work coupled with implementing and experimenting with new business models.

    Collaborating Musicians

    SPAIN

    UK

    Jenni Pinnock – Composer

    FRANCE AND BELGIUM

    Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont – Piano

    USA

    Adam Berkowitz – Clarinet
    Erica Sipes – Piano
    Alexis del Palazzo – Flute
    Jade Simmons – Pianist
    Cory Tiffin – Clarinet

    Daniel Hay- Composer

    GENERAL

    Audience Development Specialists - Shoshana Fanizza
    Rosebrook Classical - David Weuste

    Charity Themes

    Good causes will be chosen depending on the location of the venue and the most needy charities closest to them.

    A Bit of History

    In Classical Music Connects v.1, I started out with a loose schedule of events spread over a 9 month period until it became clear that this was totally unrealistic. The idea was well enough thought out but I hadn’t reckoned on it growing in scope as quickly.

    It proved to be far too much organisational and logistical work for one person to the point I was neglecting other commitments.

    In addition, having run as far as I could with a crowd sourcing campaign over several months to supply seed capital for CMC, with 2,380 generously donated, I had enough to invest in the necessary technology and expert know-now to plant some firm roots for the project to move forward.

    Gigs

    Whenever a Classical Music Connects gig is staged – whether solo, chamber or large group – we’re keen that it’s easily accessible to anybody who cares to join the audience in person or watch the live-stream.

    If you really can’t afford that or would run up debt, then please drop me an email: info @ marionharringtonclarinet.com, with "CMC Gig Help" in the subject line.

    If “up close and personal” is more your style, for an often amusing behind the scenes look at what’s currently going on, check out the Blog.

    All the gigs a well as some rehearsals will be videoed for highlights on You Tube and key performances live streamed on the Internet.

    Workshops

    With a growing number of musicians choosing to self-publish these days, I thought it would be a good idea to throw open the doors of practice sessions, rehearsals and sessions. You can come along in person or via live stream on the Internet.

    Far more interesting and fun than reading dry theory in a book or being under put under the pressure of contributing to a master class, it’ll give students a real insight into what it really means to be a freelance musician.

    Note that these will not be teaching sessions but an open invitation to come along and join in the discussions.

    Recordings

    Two albums are currently in the works, a commissioned charity Christmas release with original carols for a mixed score trio that was contributed by US composer Daniel Hay and the complete clarinet works of Brahms featuring all the clarinettists involved in the project.

    Although no firm date or location has been set yet, it is likely that these recordings will take place in Virginia, US .

    There are very few comprehensive recordings of all the clarinet repertoire penned by Brahms – especially one with a fresh interpretive approach – so the aim is to offer the final product as a free download on a creative commons attribution basis.

    A double CD will also be available.

    But all this won’t happen without your help. Read on to find out how you can get involved…

    Musicians, Venues, Social Media Mavens and Bloggers – Classical Music Connects Needs You!

    Musicians

    While striving for excellence goes with the territory as a musician, Classical Music Connects values passion and an enthusiasm to communicate through classical music above a flawless technique.

    All freelance musicians of any standard aged 18 and above – including those with a “day job” – are welcome so please don’t think you aren’t “good enough” or “full-time” enough to join in.

    It doesn’t matter if you live in a remote village in France or a sprawling metropolis like Chicago.

    If you

    • feel that the traditional way of presenting classical music concerts doesn’t reflect who you are and you’re itching to try something different in a supportive environment
    • wouldn’t turn a hair playing in bars, shopping malls, night clubs, airports, over-sized plastic mushrooms, night clubs, etc.
    • are just at comfortable performing in jeans as you would in a dinner jacket
    • are prepared to roll up your sleeves and actually get down to the business of mucking in rather than waiting for for somebody else to organise things for you
    • are frustrated with existing career paths in classical music
    • want to use your music for something other than furthering your own career
    In return, we will provide you with the support, tools and know-how to get started via material published privately on Zero 2 Maestro starting this coming Autumn, 2012. If you’ve ever wanted to travel with your music and meet with musicians from different cultures, the opportunity to do that will be there too.

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao-tzu (Chinese Philospher)

    We’re calling you to take action! Making a difference starts start in your own back yard – in own neighbourhoods. Is now is the time for you to finally emerge out of the practice room?

    Register your interest on the Zero 2 Maestro sign up form over on the Work with Me page and you’ll receive progress updates, sneak previews and details of pre-launch offers.

    Venues

    Classical Music Connects is looking for potential venues that would be prepared to work with us on a 40%/40% split (or slight variable on that) with 20% of ticket proceeds going to local charities.

    We want to collaborate with innovative organisers who are forward thinking and are looking to increase audience sizes as well as the overall sustainability of their operation without the dependence on donations or season tickets.

    Send an email to the address on my Contact page

    Social Media Mavens, Musician Bloggers and Podcasters

    While the project is more focused on collective effort than personal ambition, you could find that this project opens up a completely new income stream for you.

    Social media whizz kids who have even the vaguest interest in classical music – we need your expertise to spread the word Musician bloggers and podcasters – if you feel Classical Music Connects is a good match with your own material and would like an interview or feature the project, do get in touch.

    Donations

    While we don’t rely on financial assistance as a collective, we’re certainly not going to turn away any offers of help if somebody is moved to give!

    If you’d like your donation to be channelled towards anything specific, please add a note to your payment and we’ll send you an update when your money has been used.

    The Mission Statement You’ll Be Supporting

    • To show how classical musicians can make a tangible as well as a spiritual difference in their own communities
    • To encourage cross cultural exchange, the pooling of ideas, talents and experiences across different countries
    • To highlight the practical difficulties of the globe trotting musician and push for a change in current visa legislation
    • To present high quality classical music that’s fun and easily accessible to every strata of society
    • To implement and experiment with a new business model for classical music which is 100% self-sustainable in the long term

    Classical music may well be in the doldrums at the moment but there is a growing movement for change. Is now the time for you to get involved to take advantage of the upswing?”