Q. Why do musicians need a Classical Revolution or CutTime®? Why change anything?
A. Our devotion as classical musicians is no secret: this music is powerful, spiritual, broad, challenging, redemptive and much more. Our demands for the controlled environment serves our art, our musicians, our true believers and arts supporters. And yet it’s clear we also need to start attracting new audiences to live concerts, even while those concerts, by those demands, leave potentials out in the cold.
They default to easy excuses rather than extra efforts to meet those demands (shower, dress, church manners, sitting silently, tight seating, reading programs, confusion). It’s bad enough that many denounce classical as too European, too ancient, boring, gay, mysterious, challenging or otherwise exclusive. As musicians, we accept this, but never address it directly. The irony is understandable and easily circumvented with good psychology.
Another irony is that most newbies have already been touched by classical music, in movies, TV or memorials. We can believe then that most will respond positively under the right conditions. CutTime® works to create those conditions, even in noise, sharing access, reducing the stigmas that prohibit trying, and creating positive new experiences. We choose when to make classical music exceptional and when to make it common. But we must answer the question WHY CLASSICAL? and flip the coin of understanding to serve a much broader slice of humanity its own legacy, beauty, wisdom and strength.
Since 2010 CutTime has been extending classical music via the Classical Revolution Detroit series (CRD), resetting the context for instrumental music as a universal and adaptable tool in noisy bars, coffeehouses, homes, rough artspaces and festivals. We are building a new tradition that also validates and demystifies the old one. We began as volunteers until winning a Knight Foundation grant to expand to 34 events in 2015. People are doubly-surprised we will play classical and symphonic music both for and with them.
We are missionaries, spreading love and access, when we choose to sacrifice something of our profession to make our sacred music info-taining and fun to use. We add value, creating emotional connections using famous and lively works, hosting, participation, interviews and effective analogies to begin answering burning-but-unspoken questions. Audience see an ethnic mix of musicians owning this music as a powerful app for self-expression. Success is when people return, bring friends, speak in favor of it, enjoy local concerts, and invite us to play in their other circles. Our work is not always popular; but it is very necessary.
Rather than always preserving world-class performance standards, CutTime will at times choose to adapt to our new audience, dancing with the passion and extra-musical expression newcomers expect to see at other concerts. We will cut out the academia and formality to create a safe, inclusive space for raw inquiry. We will call out elephants in the room to confirm, explain and work past popular stereotypes of classical music. We will validate the community’s creativity while we validate the ideas behind the classical arts. We will facilitate our audience to join in on toy percussion, games, poetry, conducting and soon, even dance moves! Here, both sides might appreciate each other across the gap.
CutTime hires musicians of all levels, ethnicities and ages to join us in meeting The People where and who they are. Besides community partners, we work with concert presenters, orchestras & venues. Once their customers become excited, some suggest where else they’d like to see us and what they’d like to see us trying. With true openness toward everyone, even to those who may smell bad, the community understands why we bring symphonies. Help us prove that everyone can access this beautiful and adventurous music.
- Dive deeper here.
- Invite Mr. CutTime to launch a Classical Revolution chapter in your community.
- Recommend CutTime to program week-long residencies with your orchestra, music school or local presenter.
- Purchase sheet music from our catalog.