CutTime connects communities with symphonic music so they might sustain each other.
Let’s face it: America has become culturally much less formal, far less Euro-centric, and more live-and-let-live. Many say it’s becoming impolite and rude; testing the limits of free speech and the rights to be individual ourselves. And yet, if a curious new listener wanted to try the magic of LIVE classical music, they’d have to dress up, pay up, shut up and sit rather still in a huge, silent concert hall; all of which is like going to a church. While this is ideal for the classical musician and fan, the industry has yet to design commercial, new user experiences (UX) that might serve those who tend to avoid anything fine arts. None believe real change is possible. But now that “the Arts” are redefined much more broadly, curious music-lovers are giving classical music another chance to reform. The major institutions are trying to be cautiously more inclusive. Yet it might take another recession (or a generation) for the industry and its highest-paid musicians to re-examine core principles and push past historic blocks to seek a dynamic balance between preserving the art form and agape (love) for real people, inc. 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.