keyboard

Weedon’s Wanderings 8th April 2019

Morris Men

MAINLY MORRIS

We just happened upon a fascinating documentary about Morris Dancers on BBC iPlayer this week. You can view it here. Who would have thought such turmoil raged behind this gentle rural art-form?

This programme took me back to 1984, when I was loitering aimlessly in Bristol Docks and caught sight of some Morris Men practising their traditional dances.  I sidled a little closer: too close. The next thing I knew, I was pulled into the middle of the group where a smiling chap in a smock and battered hat hit me jovially on the head with a pig’s bladder. Ah, the shenanigans of youth!

You may well be wondering what this has to do with the price of onions. To bring it firmly back to music, I was so impressed by my Bristol experience that I wrote a piece about it (entitled Morris Dance - what else?). 35 years later,...

Early kick-off, anyone?

A lovely venue

Can concert start times make a difference to attendance? I ask, as I've just played for the excellent society in Sutton in Ashfield. They tell me that not long ago they were down to audiences of about 40, with the future uncertain. Then they made two changes - one to the venue, moving from a church hall to a modern church, and the other to the start time, pulling it forward to 7:00pm.  Some had their doubts, but once tried this early start has proved popular. Yesterday they continued their recent trend of growing audiences, with 130 squeezed in. I'm sure audience growth leads to more audience growth - the atmosphere was terrific, and in order to get a seat at all the regulars started arriving not long after 6:00pm. The early finish meant that buses were still running, too. I've seen concerts beginning earlier from the typical 8:00pm start of my...

House concerts

Our house

This doesn't look much like a concert hall, does it? That's because it's the front of our house. And last week it was the venue for our first experimental house concert.  House Concerts have been extremely popular in America for some time now. But they are something of a rarity in the UK. Audience numbers have been dropping world-wide across most types of music in recent years, for reasons which are not clearly apparent. It may be the availability of home entertainment, it may be a reluctance to go out in the dark, it may be the expense, it may be people’s busy life styles. But one sector which is thriving is the US House Concert.

I invited 14 friends to come and listen to me play to help with my research into whether House Concerts would work equally well here, and especially whether they may help the little-known orchestral keyboard concert...

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