CutTime connects communities with symphonic music so they might sustain each other.
Let’s face it: America has become culturally much less formal, much less Euro-centric, more live-and-let-live. Many would say it’s become impolite and rude; testing the limits of free speech and action. And yet, if a curious new listener wanted to try the magic of LIVE classical music, they’d have to pay up, dress up, shut up and sit rather still in a huge, silent concert hall; essentially going to church. While this is ideal for the average classical musician and fan, the industry has yet to design new user experiences (UX) that also serve those who tend to avoid fine arts. None believe real change is possible. But now that “the Arts” are defined more broadly, curious music-lovers are giving classical music a chance to reform. The major institutions are trying to be strategically more inclusive. But it might take another recession (or a generation!) for the industry and the musicians to re-examine their core principles and perhaps stop fearing inclusion, to possibly push past historic blocks to seek a dynamic balance with real people, sports fans and blue-collar workers.
Potential new fans are saying:
1) Few of us took classical instruments in school, and our parents had no interest either.
2) We don’t know much about ‘classical’ and won’t take time to read first: we need a lively guide.
3) Neither classical concerts nor internet videos give entertaining personality, context or advice.
4) Classical concerts seem dry, cold, boring and confusing. Why can’t you make the best of this work in clubs?
5) We prefer songs, rap & dance because drums & lyrics are dramatic, personal & complex enough.
6) If I can’t join in somehow, I may want to talk to my friends, while enjoying the music. Where can I do that?
7) Without a rocker’s passion, classical concerts can feel lifeless, pointless or surreal to us. Make us believe you!
8) My friends and I prefer new music, but anything well-played, or sung, is welcome. Bring us variety.
9) Classical doesn’t market broadly; like you really can’t accept us all as-we-are. Where’s the series for us?
10) We may need our own people to design our own parties around classical music.
Let’s celebrate our good fortune to have so many choices in music. Isn’t this part of what our ancestors wanted for us? And yet, if people aren’t sure they can come as-they-are, as at most other music events, whole communities feel dis-invited (looks, tsk-ing, overheard words) by audience and ushers for wearing jeans or t-shirts at classical events. Let us enlarge our audience base by welcoming everyone to concerts. In the house, our current audiences stand on the frontlines of audience development.