Kid ‘n Play present: a classical music house party

Groupmusers Christopher 'Kid' Reid and Christopher 'Play' Martin.
Groupmusers Christopher ‘Kid’ Reid and Christopher ‘Play’ Martin.

Saturday night I attended a classical house show in Brighton, MA. The event was put on by Groupmuse, a service that pairs classical performances with  audiences keen to hear good music in a low-pressure situation (e.g. somebody’s house).

Groupmuse organized the event. Hosts volunteer their house or workspace for a performance. Musicians sign up to play, and once a program is agreed upon an event is created.

The enticement.
The enticement.

Groupmuse users (Groupmusers?) can then agree to attend, although nothing is confirmed until you get this guy:

Yahtzee.
Yahtzee.

Setting aside how we feel about emoticons, this email is sure to send a frisson of excitement up your spine. You’re in the club.

After procuring alcoholic beverages and snacks, we drove to Brighton, parked semi-legally, and were greeted at the door by this sign.

Last chance to turn back.
Last chance to turn back.

We navigated a perilously icy driveway, got inside and mingled a bit before the show.

Classical fans in their natural habitat.
Classical fans in their natural habitat.

The two musicians on the evening were violist Mathilde Geismar and bass player Kevin Garcon.

Geismar and Garcon setting up.
Geismar and Garcon setting up.

They were unafraid of having their photos taken.

Violist Mathilde Geismar.
No Fear.

Host Ben Ginsburg offered a few words of introduction, as beers were cracked and phones silenced.

Ben Ginsburg.
Ben Ginsburg.

Then we were off. The program started with some Bach from his Fifth Cello Suite. It was a deep, brooding c minor situation. Garcon started it off before it morphed into a duo.

Kevin Garcon kicking off with some Bach.
Kevin Garcon kicking off with some Bach.

We were also treated to J.M. Sperger’s “Romanze” for viola and doublebass, Sándor Veress’s “Memento,” György Kurtág’s “Signs, Games and Messages” transcribed for bass, and a movement of György Ligeti’s “Sonata for viola” played exclusively on the C string.

The audience dug it.

A cacophony of noise as the hallway erupts in applause.
A cacophony of noise as the hallway erupts in applause.

And the performers seemed pleased themselves.

Sweet victory.
Sweet victory. Notice roomba lurking nearby.

Groupmuse is a non-threatening dose of classical best enjoyed with a (double-)cup of cheer. Right now, the service is only available in Boston and New York. I have a feeling it will expand rapidly as the many imitators crop up.

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One thought on “Kid ‘n Play present: a classical music house party

  1. Pingback: CSI: Symphony Orchestra — bloodthirsty composers strike again | The Classical Dark Arts by Will Roseliep

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