Davy Jones’ Locker: Call out to Canterbury

One of our first funded Community Catalysts, music curator and performer Tania Holland Williams, is taking contemporary classical music on the road again. Davy Jones’ Locker was an original and unexpected platform for experiencing live classical music and pursues twin aims of sparking philosophical debate through a shared listening/performing experience, and of exposing audiences to the music of living composers.

In collaboration with the Sounds New Festival, Davy Jones’ Locker will deliver a programme of live contemporary classical music events in living rooms across Canterbury, launching Monday, April 28th for two weeks.

As a result, they are now looking for 18 home-owners or residents of Canterbury, or its surrounding area, who would like to host a concert. This is a great opportunity to invite neighbours, friends and colleagues into your living rooms for an informal night of live classical contemporary music.

During each concert, new ways to excite the future curiosity of audiences and inspire conversation will be explored – so expect some elements of unexpected concert practice!

There is no cost to hosts for taking part.  Along with the performers and music, the project is able to supply e-flyer invitations for hosts to use when inviting neighbours and friends. At each concert, invitations will be issued to a number of other Sounds New Festival events, in particular those that sit under the Free-Range banner curated by Sam Bailey.  Hosts will need to gather an audience of at least 8 friends and neighbours.

There are 18 concert slots available across from Monday 28th April onwards, so do please get in touch with Tania if interested. Equally, if you can think of someone who could do with an injection of live music in their living room, please let them know this opportunity exists – it would be fantastic to get a range of people experiencing these concerts.

Tania will help identify the best time, date and programme for your living room concert. She is particularly interested in reaching those who might not normally have access to, or be familiar with classical music – and who might not have heard anything by a living composer up to now.

If interested, please email: taniahollandwilliams@gmail.com or telephone 07775 507713

The idea of relaxing at home listening to some music is about to be given a whole new twist in East Kent this October. Adventurous music lovers across the area are opening their homes to musicians and composers and embarking on an adventure to find hidden musical treasures.  They are providing the venues for Davy Jones’ Locker, a series of prom concerts by Kent musicians, which aim to bring contemporary classical music to a wider audience in the comfort of their homes. They can expect to have cellists sitting on the sofa, sopranos dusting the mantelpieces and percussionists with a cup of tea in one hand and a drumstick in the other.

‘I think it’s a wonderful idea to bring opera into the house’
                                                                                        Barbara Brigden – host, Medway 2013
‘Being in there, there’s something really sincere about it, everyone’s engaged’
                                                    Evan Kassof – Composer
Across Canterbury, Thanet and Whitstable, 18 homeowners will host two musicians for an evening and invite their neighbours and friends to share the novel musical experience. This innovative and exciting project was conceived by mezzo Tania Holland Williams, who ran the project last year across Medway. She has gathered together a brilliant group of six musicians from across Kent to play these intimate concerts and will herself be performing.  The musicians are cellist Eleonora Rosca, clarinettist Beth Baldwin, on percussion Chris Hills, soprano Cathy Robinson and flautist Heledd Francis WrightThe project is about performing music in a way that is intimate and conversational rather than hushed and hallowed.
The repertoire for the series includes music for mezzo and percussion, soprano and clarinet, flute and cello. A composer will be at each of the performances and alongside the music making, there will be opportunities for the audience and performers to talk about the different ways they approach making, and actually listening, to music.  The performances will include work from composers Aleksandr Brusentsev, who is just finishing his studies at Royal Academy of Music, Rolf Wallin and Tansy Davies, who both in live in Kent, and WelshmanHywel Davies who is working on a piece for Sevenoaks library.
‘It’s much more intimate and you get a much better interaction with the audience. And it’s lovely that they are able to ask questions and you can respond in the moment.’
Heledd Francis Wright – Flautist
The project in Medway was a huge success with over 200 people enjoying music in 12 domestic venues. It challenged perceptions about contemporary classical music and led people to discover new composers and unfamiliar musical works.
 Steph Fuller, Creative Enabler of Ideas Test says:
Davy Jones Locker has been a really significant project for Ideas Test with its combination
of high artistic quality and every day domestic presentation.  It demonstrated clearly that
the key factor in gaining acceptance for artistic product which is often characterised as
‘difficult’ can be overcome by a human scale approach to presentation and audience
recruitment through word of mouth and individual invitation.  Tania Holland’s approach with
Davy Jones was highly effective in attracting a new kind of audience who were very positive about the experience.’
At the end of the series of Davy Jones’ Locker Living Rooms Concerts, there will be a culminating performance bringing all the musicians together with their living room audiences. Tickets for this concert will be available for the public. To find out more about Davy Jones’ Locker and the concert, follow it on facebook or email Tania Holland Williams at taniahollandwilliams@gmail.com or via Twitter @operaactivist. 
The video below will give you a flavour of what to expect!