Day 25: Original Foreword [Part 2 of 2]
Thus, a solution lies in the combination of concert music with the visual arts. Collectively, the visual arts can support the music and enhance the concert experience. Concerts that combine the two will be (literally) sense-ational events and, as a result, audiences will leave the concert hall having experienced heightened emotional and cultural engagement while increasing their understanding of music as well as other art forms.
While listeners are focusing on connecting the visual arts with music, they will also expand their sense of creativity. According to the “Generativity Theory”, a formal theory on the creative process by Dr. Robert Epstein, this interactive presentation of classical music with visual arts covers three of the four competency areas. Members of the audience will be challenging their minds with a novel activity, will be increasing their knowledge outside of their areas of expertise, and may even be altering their physical or social surroundings (Epstein). By freeing their minds and accepting all incoming ideas as plausible, listeners will discover messages, emotions, and ideas buried in the music. Following the concert, the audience will be encouraged to discuss ideas or scenarios they envisioned.
By enhancing the function of classical music and opening its doors to new audiences, we have an opportunity to revitalize the cultural engagement with our work as musicians. The process of taking music, which is internal, and aligning it with visual art, which is external, can potentially develop the senses and draw emotions from audiences in a unique manner. It can challenge people to go beyond their traditional understandings of the “classical” arts, while promoting unconventional synergies. Most importantly, it can enhance the ability of classical music to act as an art form while inspiring new listeners to discover unconsidered possibilities in the presentation of the arts.
Cook, Nicholas. Music, Imagination, and Culture. Oxford University Press. 1992.
Epstein, Robert. “Creativity and Innovation.” www.drrobertepstein.com. Internet; accessed 12 October 2009.
Kramer, Lawrence. Why Classical Music Still Matters. University of California Press. 2007.