Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Changing the perception of classical music

Carnegie Hall, NYC

On Huffington Post, today, the photographs of Nikolaj Lund are featured.   Who is he? and why? are the logical questions.  And, why should his photographs be on this rather schizophrenic blog?

Allow me to elaborate. 

I've always appreciated the ability of a photograph to relay a message.  For Nikolaj Lund... the idea is to change the perception of classical music.

Ok... I agree, classical music is as boring as grits... hence that photo of an empty Carnegie Hall.  Furthermore, I'm more of a smooth jazz boy!  But... Mr. Lund is out to change all of this.

He said, "As a classical musician, myself, I had grown very tired of the conservative and traditional perception on classical music.  Every time [that] I saw publicity on classical music... I saw the same type of photos... which, in my opinion, keeps people (who do not already know about classical music) away from the concerts. Classical music is so much more than what those photos told." {Excerpt from interview on Huffington Post.}

So, to further his cause, he chose to expose the quirkier and wilder side of some of the musicians of classical music.  The photos were shot with miminal manipulation -- no blue screens here!  And, several instruments were destroyed in the process... but all cost less than $200... no need to destroy a perfectly good Stradivarius for a photo.

And, his finished product is incredible!   

Brian Friisholm, Cellist

Regional ensemble, MidtWest, from Denmark

Henrik Larssen, Percussionist

Bjarke Mogensen, Accordeon

Toke Moeldrup, Cellist
and... yes he DID jump into the sea wearing a tuxedo with a cello

Members of the Double Bass Section, Aarhaus Symphony Orchestra

Toril Vik, Flutist

Niels-Ole Bo Johanssen, Trombone

The Danish String Quartet

Sometimes, stereotypes need to be broken! 

"Music is something you hear, feel and respond to. For me it can calm me down and at the same time wake a lot of energy and inspiration in me," Lund explained. "So the combination of aesthetic shades and raw energy is what I often try to show in my photos."

Kudos, Mr. Lund.  Job well done; you certainly captured my attention. 

Maybe this will help spread the word, too.  The first time that I saw this video, my response was, "Damn...the cello can be sexy.  Who knew?"   Recently, these two amazing cellists have been featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, toured Australia with Sir Elton John, and had a cameo during the Michael Jackson tribute on Glee.  Two spunky classical cellists with...attitude.

2CELLOS, Smooth Criminal, by Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser

Perceptions can always be changed!

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