Last Nights Experience…

Transmit that a poem or a song
Let me hear that voice once again
Touching my heart in a moment of hope,
Penetrating my soul with sentiment, just now
Yes, I am scared, ooh yes
I tremble at the thought of walking alone

And we move on to the next…

My experience is troubled
With all the emotions running loose
Can I find some peace now
Some hope, presented in a touch
Yes, I am afraid, ooh yes
I tremble at the thought of feeling alone

And we move on to the next…

I walked out into the soaking rain
Experiences exchanged, surreal, real
How much time do I have to absorb this moment?
To process this flood of emotions
Yes, I feel humbled, ooh yes
I look into the lights and know that the future is bright

And we move on to the next… song

Purcell – An ode to music…

A summer evening in August. The setting is Næstved, Denmark.

Walking towards Sanct Pederskirke (St. Peders Church) the wind blows steep and the temperature does not feel warm. It feels more like an autumn evening than summer. The  beautiful church is a perfect setting for what I was about to experience.

The Næstved Early Music Festival scheduled this year a performance of work from Henry Purcell (1669-1695). It is an ode to his music performed by the chamber choir Cantoque, the Höök Barock ensemble and Camerata Øresund.

Næstved Early Music Festival is an amazing initiative that puts the little Danish town Næstved on the world map with reference to music from before 1800. It infuses new life into a cultural heritage of early music and combines that with putting focus on the historical setting of the town. The actual festival is every 2 years in August and spans over several days. 2017 is not a festival year, but that doesn’t stop them to organise some concerts throughout the year.

Welcome to all the pleasures is a a true ode to music. The setting is the festival of St. Cecilia on November 22, 1683. It seems fitting as the weather outside indicated it was November after all, although we are in the middle of summer. The church (Sanct Pederskirke) was a perfect choice to let the music hear its voice. The acoustics were excellent and the musicians played at their top. When the choir kicked in, the sound was overwhelming and you knew you were in for something special. Purcell’s music contains the French frivolity while capturing that Italian passion of the time. Ad a twist of English harmony to the mix and you have a piece of music that stands the test of time and is today still very much alive.

The Overture opened part II of the first set with excerpts of Dido. Emotions are high in this part that start in happiness but ultimately ends in utter sadness. A story of love between Dido and Aeneas. A story of music taking you on a ride of emotions.

The second set of the evening took us to The Fairy Queen that contained 2 highlights. Hush, no more brought emotions to the church with an excellent bass voice, an orchestra playing at its best and the choir hitting the right emotions to fill the church with heavenly sound. The second highlight came moments later when Cordon and Mopsa was performed by 2 singers visibly having fun with the piece. A bass and male voice singing in high octave with a comical sauce during the performance made the piece stand out and captured the audience in full blow. What a performance. It was magical!

The musicians and choir took us through a variation of emotions and did it with ease. We went from celebrations to happiness, they took us through a moment of sadness to then take us back into a happy mood. It was a great experience.

The Næstved Early Music Festival deserves to be commended to take the initiative to bring this music back alive for an audience in these beautiful settings like Sanct Pederskirke in Næstved. Next year, August 13 to 19 – 2018, is the real festival year, and it is something to look forward to. Mark your calendars for a visit to Næstved and enjoy some truly wonderful music. You will not regret it.

Coming out of the church I had a smile on my face. I experienced something special and touching.

Experiences

There is a moment, where the needle hits the first groove, a crackle travels its way into the speakers just before the first note is played and the sound of wonderful music explores the room embracing the furniture and people present to give an experience of pleasure and joy. The mind wonders and thinks about the philosophical question how to best experience music. This question presents an array of possible answers each more convincing then the other for any individual being. The topic allows for great conversation, discussion, passion and more over it allows to elevate the experience to another level.

Sometimes we reflect on the experiences we have with music…

Is it that concert you went to that sticks in your mind and where the performance was so elevating that the music evolved into something different then you ever had experienced?

Is it that first time you heard a specific song, where your mind is blown away of the sound, rhythm and the pure genius of some lyrics?

Is it the record everybody talks about, but never really hit you and you wonder what is all the fuzz about? And then, after listening to it for who knows how many times you are blown away, not just by the music but by the experience you have at that moment and it connects…

I had some of those experiences myself. One of them was during a concert with Ryan Adams (Falconer Salen – Copenhagen – 2015). The song Peaceful Valley just hit me hard. The performance was so captivating and intense that the song got elevated from just one of the songs in the catalogue to the song I turn back to that reminds me of what experiencing music can do to you. It was pure magic.

I’d like to think that listening to music is not just about listening to a song, an album or an artist… It is about taking the time to experience the emotions that come with the sound music delivers and allows you to connect to moments in your life that you cherish forever…