Intimate concerts without filter

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May 07, 2012

SCENATET has from the outset carried out pioneer work experimenting with music and art in various untraditional rooms.

Living Room is a concept developed by Scenatet’s artistic director Anna Berit Asp Christensen. The ensemble has since 2009 given intimate concerts in selected private houses in Copenhagen.

‘While the concert hall is a public room, the Living Room concerts take on a certain intimacy and personality as soon as we enter the private sphere. For audiences it is a surprise to the last moment where they are going and who they will meet. They do not know beforehand what is going to happen or how they will react. This creates vulnerability and at the same time a feeling of belonging together; I like this a lot and I believe it has a considerable effect on the artistic experience. The members of the audience have not turned on the filters that they usually have when music is performed in a concert hall,’ says Ana Berit Asp Christensen.

Scenatet and Athelas Sinfonietta are the Danish representatives in New: Aud, a EU project aimed at developing new concert forms and creating new ways of presenting art.

The Danish composer Bent Sørensen, familiar from Sounds Like You, the opening performance of the 2009 Bergen International Festival, is Scenatet’s in-house composer. He is currently collaborating with Christensen on developing a large-scale opera to be performed in town courtyards throughout Europe in 2013. The process of creating the work involves several one-off performances in Copenhagen courtyards. In these artistic experiments the music is to blend with its environment to create a new whole. It is these Backyard Pictures that will eventually result in the opera. The same process is used for the Living Room concerts in Bergen.

‘The Living Room concerts contain material that will later be used in the opera. In Backyard Pictures courtyards form the environment of the work; in Living Room private homes do so. The theme is nevertheless the same: glimpses of lives lived,’ says Christensen.

The composers have carried out extensive research, delving into the house owners’ artistic work and the atmosphere of their homes. The result will be two completely unique works in which the music will blend with fragments of the two artists’ work and their own stories.

Text: Silje Gripsrud English version: Roger Martin

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