13th session: Saturday 7th May

This session we assembled a programme for a “bring a baby” concert in the NCH John Field Room on Tuesday for parents and very young kids. The toddlers and babies are too young to really involve them directly but a varied programme of light pieces ought to appeal to the kids in different ways and we tried to imagine what would be appreciated by their parents… a bit of tranquility being one of the main things!

As we came to the end of the rehearsal we noticed two kids aged maybe 3 and 5 waving to us from beyond the glass wall of meeting room 1. I invited them to pop in for a listen if they fancied it and they did – with their father and (I gather) grandfather. We played them the Schop (6 minutes long) and they were wonderfully attentive, apparently fascinated by the music and the instruments. All four of them asked interesting questions afterwards, especially “do you all live together?” from the youngest. I was reminded what a good idea it is to have artists working in these glass-walled meeting rooms, conspicuously adding to the life of the building and generating these unpredictable encounters.

The programme performed on Tuesday then was:- Schop Lachrimae – Bowie Lament – 3 O’Carolan tunes – DeVisée suite – Dublin Bay ballad –  Satie Gymnopédie 1 – Corbetta Chaconne – Boccherini PassaCaille

eidola NCH
    [preparing for the event in the John Field Room, NCH]

Our Lament on Mars for Bowie was played after the 17th-century Lachrimae without introduction, and the effect was lovely as the tune eventually emerged from our somewhat 17th-century arrangement and the recognition showed on the parents’ faces. Interesting to note that the toddlers were far more attentive during the hypnotic Gymnopédie than in the tuneful O’Carolan selection; we didn’t predict that. Also interesting were the vocal contributions by the 1-year-olds which often appeared to be responses to the music.

  • Malachy 10/5/16
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