organ

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...

Daytime concerts?

Ancient and Modern: Compton meets Yamaha

Yesterday I was playing in East Devon. The organ club there have, for the winter season, held their meetings during the afternoon rather than the cold dark evenings. I asked if it had affected their attendance one way or another, and the answer was 'no'. The artists must have enjoyed it though, being able to play a concert and get home again on the same day. We made the round trip in 13 hours, and had the pleasure of sleeping in our own house for a change.

Another music club I have been talking with has been running additional teatime concerts (complete with naughty but nice cakes). They tell me these food-centred events have attracted larger audiences, and quite a lot of new faces. Do you have a view on the best time of day for a concert? And do you think having food combined with music makes a big difference? Please...

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