Believe in Your Ears
People have often tried to give us suggestions on how to appeal to a wider audience, such as adding a techno/bass beat to the music (all classical music lovers/musicians are at this moment vomiting on their computers), or programming more accessible music.
Changing the music in any way defeats our purpose and undermines our love for classical music. And it would also definitely make the music sound like crap. I’ve heard these mixes before and they really make a mess of great music. (Why don’t we add some glow-in-the-dark paint to Starry Night?) Not that I am against sampling or using mixed classical music as part of other songs, but to sell tweaked versions to our audience not only deprives them of the opportunity to experience classical music, it is also insulting to their intelligence. This is part of the problem of classical music today, that some of us think that ‘our’ music is beyond anyone else, when in fact a lot of people are quite attuned to what is going on in the music. After each concert I talk to new audience members about the music, and what I love the most is when they first make a disclaimer that they are ‘not well-versed in music,’ and then go on to talk about what they got from what they heard. And 99% of the time they are dead-on about what the music is expressing.
Keeping the music ‘accessible’ (subjective term) is similar to only wearing The Gap. Enough said there.
The Nouveau Classical Project began because we felt that anyone could enjoy classical music, but simply needed a way to experience it outside traditonal settings. We believe in our audience and we don’t think we need to water anything down for their ears. So we are going to keep programming music like Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time and other music we believe in, despite how difficult some think they are to listen to. And don’t feel discouraged, a lot of contemporary and new music hurts our brains sometimes too! But we can’t limit ourselves and think this is as far as our ears can go; just keep listening and you’ll figure something out…