“Music in its temporality certainly always is moving into the future, and shaping, and CHANGING the future,” writes Charles S. Brown.
Creating stories allows for a prophetic dimension to emerge from the relics of our musical heritage, inspiring a reinterpretation. To discover in them something we have not seen before.
The story-line both informs and creates a context for the various pieces, all perfectly delightful in and of themselves, but now enhanced by their new placement within ideas quite relevant to our current lives. Can they speak to modern ears, with new meaning? Yes, absolutely.
We know this much: People want to be immersed. They want to get involved in a story, to carve out a role for themselves, to make it their own.Here’s how we apply the importance of “story” to our dramatic concerts.
All pieces of music tell stories. They emanate from a certain cultural milieu, and if nothing else, they describe stories of their own creation. Others describe the impressions which inspired them.
Felix Mendelssohn understood this problem and invented “theme” programming, still common today, where a concert series focuses on a genre of music or historic era. The theme creates an arc during a concert that engages all listeners, regardless of their level of music literacy.
In shaping a program around a theme, any theme, one considers that the music itself becomes limited by the idea which it serves. On the contrary, this new storytelling idea, itself often contained within larger ones, and filled with other smaller stories, can inspire and move the participants into a new journey, a fresh relationship.
You can compare musical dissonance to the conflict between characters in a story. The tension builds and rises to a peak, and then is resolved by the story’s calm conclusion…consonance.
We take enough pictures and selfies to where it takes the energy of 12 nuclear power plants just to supply the energy used everyday just to upload our phone/camera pictures. Do you think we want to tell our stories..?
We’re all constantly exchanging our own narratives. We do it all the time. We do it on the phone, we do it online, we do it in coffee shops, we do with people we love, we do with people we just met for the first time. This is not new. For thousands of years almost every human culture has been telling stories. Telling stories helps make sense of what it is to be human. Stories let us carve our initials into the wet cement of the moment.