Saturday, 13 December 2014

Unsilent Night

A group of boombox fanatics are putting an avant garde spin on the Christmas carol tradition this weekend. The Guardian reported thousands of people from New York to San Francisco will be walking through city centres with vintage boombox cassette players on their shoulders playing an ethereal sound track of bells and chants.

The idea began when composer Phil Kline turned his boombox orchestra into a mobile phenomenon. Kline has been designing pieces for tape recorders since the eighties and in 1992 developed a 45 minute piece for Christmas carolling. Participants in Unsilent Night have a choice of four cassettes. They press play at the same time and then begin to wander the streets with their alternative Christmas music.

The concept has grown from 24 people to thousands. Many now use a smartphone app rather than the original boom box.

It's a pretty fun communal celebration of the music and mystery of Christmas night.

There have been versions in Sydney and Melbourne; do you think it would take off in Perth? 

Friday, 5 December 2014

Soiree Society

This week I had my final soiree for the year. The Soirees have been such a fun way to introduce people to the composers and music in Women of Note. Each soiree has had its own unique flavour: a birthday party, a wintry mulled wine soiree and this week a champagne and cupcake extravaganza at the home of John and Marcia.

Responses to my presentation were enthusiastic and somewhat surprised. From "I didn't know any of that, it was so interesting!" to "I've always loved Philip Glass, now I'll have to listen to some Elena Kats-Chernin." There was lots of laughter, conversation and intent listening to music ranging from the pastoral (Becky Llewellyn's Berceuse), popular (Elena Kats-Chernin's Eliza's Aria) and punk (Cat Hope's Corridors of Pain). People also expressed concern at the struggles and oppression some of the women composers faced in their careers. It certainly generated avid discussion afterwards.

Marcia - most generous of hosts

A huge thank you to my hosts throughout the year for your enthusiasm for Women of Note and your generous hospitality.

Long live the music!