Songs of the British Isles 2012
This concert experience began as people stepped out of their cars in the parking lot. There were two roaming bagpipers in costume, playing 30 minutes before and after concerts.
As audience participants entered, there was a fiddler walking about the room… creating atmosphere and expectation. The fiddler took a break, I came out for the 10 minute audience rehearsal of their parts, the fiddler took one more loop around the audience then lights come down a little, not dark.
Four women entered from the back, in period costume with lavender in baskets:
“Won’t you buy my sweet Blooming Lavender?” They roamed the audience singing, echoing etc. as the rest of the choir stood in back, singing the chorus parts, then all moved forward during the end of the piece… lights were lowered to darkness.
During this concert, 1/2 of the experience was in the dark with a Video Artist from LA projecting moving stills or video on the outlined face of each venue. For example, during Ubi caritas (written for the Royal wedding), images of Westminster stained glass were moving one to another, or during Skye Boat Song there was filmed footage of the ocean with an old sailboat, etc.
The lights came up for the Irish section, the fiddler took a solo moving around the room while the singers repositioned. Irish dancers were front and center for some pieces with singers to the side, accompanied by the celtic drum.
For the final piece, the story of Loch Lomond was read, underscored by the musicians, then a lone tenor sang the opening lines a cappella, slowly walking in from the back to join the choir up front.
As always, there were places in the concert experience where the audience had parts and collaborated in the creation of the experience.
The fiddle played as the singers greeted the audience after bows, and the bagpipes accompanied the audience in the parking lot as they walked to their cars.