“Harmonies and Noises” – contemporary music workshops and concerts
For many years now, in many European countries there has been a great development of educational activities by musicians, ensembles and orchestras aimed at creating new audiences for classical music. The methods are no longer those of passive listening to masterpieces but rather of involving young people in making music based on models taken from respective works as well as in non-musical actions (dance, theatre, pantomime, painting etc) related to the music. Young people taking part in workshops led by musicians and other music experts might be those who play instruments as well as young non-musicians. Participation in such activities helps young people to understand complex music as well-prepared, informed listeners and points ways towards more active involvement with music.
In these projects particular attention is drawn to contemporary music and many education activities concern this area, which by many is wrongly seen as inaccessible for non-specialists.
These achievements may well serve as models for similar activities in Poland. The wealth and variety of new music education ideas, and their extraordinary results might well provoke discussion and contribute to growth of awareness of how new audiences for classical music (both standard repertoire and contemporary) can be created and of how art forms more complex than those offered by popular culture can be made accessible by means of young people active involvement with them.
“Harmonies and Noises” workshop and concerts series have been started in January, 2012 in cooperation with Austrian Culture Forum in Warsaw. All the events of the series have been prepared by Krzysztof Kwiatkowski (music writer), Sławomir Wojciechowski (composer) and Anna Kwiatkowska (violinist). The first workshop/concert programmes concentrated on works by 20. and 21. century Austrian composers (Arnold Schönberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern, Olga Neuwirth, Georg Friedrich Haas). At workshop meetings young people (aged 12-18) from Warsaw schools prepared the programme for a final concert, which included presentation of workshop results as well as works by the above mentioned composers performed by leading Polish musicians specialising in modern repertoire. The final “Harmonies and Noises” concerts are addressed to wider audiences interested in contemporary music, not only to those participating in the workshops.
An important “Harmonies and Noises” event was held from 20-24 June in Cracow. The workshop and concert devoted to the music by Mauricio Kagel (a famous contemporary composer, born in Argentina, living in Germany until his death in 2006) and Tadeusz Wielecki (one of leading Polish composers) have been prepared together with ensemble musikFabrik from Cologne, one of the world best new music ensembles. The Cracow event co-organisers included a.o. Instytut Muzyki i Tańca (Institute for Music and Dance) and the programme includes conference on new music education projects addressed to the main organisers of music life in Poland. Other “Harmonies and Noises” events were dedicated to music by a.o. Roman Haubenstock Ramati, Ernst Krenek, Friedrich Cerha, Arnold Schönberg, Hanns Eisler.
In cooperation with Instytut Muzyki i Tańca „Harmonies and Noises” have been developing a project of commission of works uniting professional musicians with amateur teenagers in common performance.