With A Little Help From My Friend PaulMonday, December 05, 2011
Guest blog by Pacific Baroque Orchestra violinist Paul Luchkow.
“That guy looks just like a Violinist...”
Nearly 20 years ago, I was riding my bicycle on a grey Vancouver day and found myself stopped at an intersection. Waiting for the light to turn green in my favour, the words came out of nowhere...
The voice belonged to Alex Waterhouse-Hayward, and caught me completely off guard. I had heard of him but we had not yet met, and his manner of introduction was different enough from the norm that I was initially rather confused. I was indeed a violinist and had recently started playing with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, where, it turned out, Alex had seen me perform, but as most violinists are not easily identified out of their natural habitats, and because Alex has a knack for keeping people guessing, I was in unknown territory.
This encounter was the first of many with Alex, who’s secret business, I believe, is to make connections. I bumped into him on a street corner downtown recently and watched as he stood, holding court—chatting with one person, calling hello to another, waving to someone else who was off in a hurry. Alex seems to know everyone and has built a very interesting and diverse community around himself. Part of that community involves the PBO where he has served on the society's board, photographed the orchestra's musicians and been an interestingly quirky audience member for years. (Just ask him about our shoes!)
As the orchestra begins to rehearse for this coming weekend's concerts, I think of how being in community with the audience, with whom I now have made many of my own connections, makes the experience much richer for me as a performer. In many concert experiences, performers and audience are not given the chance to mingle and get to know one another. Of course, this can be more or less extreme, but one thing that I find really special about PBO is the opportunity we have (and that we make) to meet and get friendly with our audience.
The connection to our audience is an important one: in concert we are engaged in two-way communication, receiving as much from our listeners as we give. We respond to the energy in the audience much as the audience responds to what is happening on stage. You, dear concert goers, help to create the music too!
I love my job as a musician very much and it is especially because of our audience that I find it so rewarding. I enjoy working with my playing friends and colleagues, and hearing a work of music come together in rehearsal is a very special experience, but it's all for nothing if we don't have an audience to share it with.
I invite you to come and be a part of our audience this weekend and experience it for yourself!
The Pacific Baroque Orchestra
Fatto per la Notte di Natale – The Real Italian Baroque Christmas
Date: December 10, 11, 2011
Time: Saturday Dec. 10, West Van United Church ~ 7:30pm (Please note venue change)
Sunday Dec. 11, St. Mark’s Church ~ 7:30pm (Please note venue & time change)