I have been working in music popularisation for ten years. As a duo with the violinist Giacomo Tesini, I teach at the summer courses “La filosofia nei luoghi del silenzio” (“Philosophy in the places of Silence”), organised by the Associazione Accademia, together with the Istituto Filosofico Domenicano in Bologna. These courses are held in monasteries and convents all over Italy; in collaboration with teachers of other subjects, such as philosophy, psicoanalysis, art history, the music is juxtaposed to another different discipline every time. Lectures and guides to listening prepare the participants to the evening concert programmes. Right before the concerts, whenever possible, sometimes with the help of my colleagues, I try to introduce the audience to the music they are going to listen to.
We live in an historic moment where, regardless of the new technologies
that allow an easier and quicker access to any kind of music, the quality
of the relationship with music is reduced to be increasingly "dehumanized".
You can play all the music you want without having any direct relationship
with the musical instruments that produce it, bereft of the physical experience
of sound that propagates in the air directly from the vibrations of the instrument
or voice, without having any contact or relationship with the musicians. It was
different before the birth of the recordings, when the physical presence of the
musicians and the instruments was essential to listen to music and
to "make music" had a major human and social importance.
The live music and the concerts nowadays are the chance to experience a direct relationship with the music, but the ritual of the "classical music concert" today is not enough to compensate for the distances. The physical distance between the player and the listener and the chronological and cultural distance from the music that is perceived as no longer belonging to our world. It is also necessary and important to find different ways to propose performances to recover closeness and intimacy with the music.
I was able to experience personally that an introductory lesson or even a very brief introduction to the concert helps the public to a more attentive, participating and aware listening.