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Appreciating Indian Classical Music Chamber Concerts Small Baithaks

Why attend house concerts?

Of the many benefits of attending a chamber concert I am listing a few here which I find to be most important.

Written by – Dakshayani Athalye

While you may feel special attending privately hosted events but that ‘special’ feeling is not the only reason why you must attend one. Of the many benefits of attending a house concert/chamber concert I am listing a few here which I find to be most important. 

In the comment section do add your reasons for attending chamber concerts!

  1. An intimate gathering: 
Small group – Big advantage!

Chamber concerts often have a limited number of invitees and that makes it an intimate experience. You are not one of the thousand enjoying the music but you are closely associated with this small group which mostly includes a few people you know or you want to know. The distance between the artists and the audience is so less that there is hardly any physical separation between the two. The audience is included and not alienated like in large auditoriums. This makes the whole experience an intimate one both for the artists and the audience. 

2. Up-close with the artists: 

As the artists and the audience are in close proximity they can directly interact with each other. One can express through his/her facial expressions and you don’t even need to utter a word or clap loudly. The audience can actually see the instruments, how tuning is done, the physical work of the artist – the use of body and breath etc. The artists are also able to see their audience and understand their responses. It is almost like having a dialogue through music, everyone is conversing without use of any language other than music. You can never experience this in an auditorium! 

3. A safe space: 

Ever heard of chamber dance concerts?

Chamber concerts can become the safe space where an artist can present his/her experiments or new ideas. Artists usually perform to present their best and listeners come to listen to the best and sometimes only what they like. However, when does an artist get the opportunity to experiment? The experiment is not wild but a small variation, a new bandish, a self-composed gat or a different taal. Mostly while performing at a high-stakes program artists play safe and that’s fair. Thus chamber concerts become special for artists because it can allow them to say what they wish. 

4. A sense of ease: 

When you are playing music at a house concert you don’t have to empty a hall at 10 pm or hurry as you only have an hour at your disposal. Chamber concerts can allow artists to be in a space that makes them feel comfortable and not bound by exigencies of the organisers or the audience. At home everyone is at ease and we are all looking forward to a good time without looking at the watch. This also allows artists to have all the time they need to tune their instruments, do an elaborate sound check etc. Basically this is a space that avoids hurry and embraces the luxury of having time. 

Have you seen tuning of instruments from a very close distance?

5. Open conversations: 

Chamber concerts allow everyone to hangout together and that means you can ask your questions or show your appreciation openly and directly. You can meet the artists and clarify your doubts if any. You can also make suggestions and engage in a dialogue to understand someone else’s perspective. This setting opens up the possibility of critical appraisals and discussion around artistic choices. Artists can also explain their thought processes, maybe talk about the particular raga or bandish, point out to a certain speciality if the composition or share how they were taught a certain piece etc.  Such conversations can easily happen in the environment of a house and not of a huge auditorium. 

But are all house concerts like that?  Do they truly offer all these benefits? Head over to the next blog to check what actually happens!

The Reality if House Concerts

3 replies on “Why attend house concerts?”

Besides whatever has already been said, I find it as an expression of association with a group I like and their cause I value.

The intimacy established with the small audience steers the artist to perform to his best ability. Perhaps you have said it in different words.

It is an opportunity to be with people who have extraordinary talent.
The synergy is amazing and inspiring.

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