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Play Every Town: Barnard!
September 15, 2023 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pmFree
In May 2022 composer-pianist David Feurzeig embarked on Play Every Town: 252 free concerts in each of Vermont’s 252 towns to confront climate change through the power of community and music. With this project David will become the first musician to perform in every Vermont municipality. He is traveling in his solar-charged electric vehicle throughout the state, offering free concerts to bring attention to the interrelated issues of climate and community, and to call into question the normality of long-distance touring and travel, while bringing the joy of music to his audiences.
“I want to support Vermont’s local communities with live performance in village centers and downtowns, while fulfilling UVM’s mission to serve as a resource for the whole state.”
Feurzeig, a professor of music at UVM since 2008, specializes in genre-defying recitals that bring together music of an astonishing variety of musical styles, from ancient and classical to jazz, avant-garde, and popular traditions. These striking juxtapositions, peppered with informative and humorous commentary, create eye- and ear-opening programs that will change how you hear all kinds of music.
Each program is locally tailored. In Barnard, local ceramicist and painter Pamela Fraser will join David in a real-time improvisatory art-music exchange. The concert will incorporate several numbers written in signal years in Barnard’s history: Mozart’s first notated compositions, from 1761, the year of the town charter; late Mozart from 1788, the year of the first town meeting; Chopin from the year the General Store was founded; and ominous Liszt from the year the last catamount was killed. Like every performance on the tour, this one will include its own unique Scarlatti keyboard sonata: Sonata no. 40 for this fortieth concert in the project. Other solo pieces will round out the program. Charles Ives’ classic “The Alcotts” will round out the program.
Feurzeig finds his approach attracts new audiences to so-called “classical” concerts and brings new insight to existing fans. “Classical music culture puts the ‘Great Composers’ on an almost religious pedestal. Once this was an indication of the audience’s love and respect, but now it just distances people from the music. It turns away new listeners, who feel like they’re in a stuffy museum instead of a live concert. Sure, the music can be serious, but there’s no reason anyone should feel intimidated. If I don’t get a laugh from the audience in the first two minutes, I get worried!”
Follow David on his journey on Instagram, find up-to-date events for your town via Facebook, or visit the website at PlayEveryTown.com.
“Not just for stars, but in academia as well there are pressures on musicians to travel far and wide, to maintain an international presence. We take this and a thousand similar practices for granted—but they’re simply not compatible with a livable world.”