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Lazy percussionist = house concerts

I really like to perform publicly, but I equally dread moving my many percussion instruments (aka gear). Taking them apart, loading them up in the car (an art in itself), taking them out of the car, setting them up, taking them apart again and hoping I don't lose a mallet or damage an important connecting part along the way - well you get the idea. It's a job and show in itself.

Hence the house concert - or for the more sophisticated: salon series. My friend and film maker Paramita Nath gave me the idea a few years ago in Toronto when she started a concert series at her home. She invited local artists to participate and local enthusiasts to enjoy the pleasure of a performance in an intimate setting. Her concerts were usually interdisciplinary (some combination of music, theater, fine arts, poetry, cuisine) and each tended to have a theme of its own.

I was lucky enough to play short pieces for the marimba at one of her soirées, which was themed "small". Lucie Erika Nadejova's photography lined the walls, and Ross Manson read selected poems from Souvankham Thammavongsa's 'Small Arguments" in between pieces. Paramita is a talented curator and given how rich the conversations were at intermission and after the show, I sometimes wonder if she also curated the guests.

House concerts are a great chance for collaborations between artists; their informal nature allowing us to feel even freer to express and explore. Whether a private event where you select audience and artists or one that is open to a wider public (perhaps if you live in a mansion), I especially like them for their intimacy. And because I just have to move my marimba to my living room and go!

One day my dream is to build a mini concert hall...

Small Arguments

What about you? Share your experiences with house concerts in the comment section below.

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