Playing at Unusual Venues: Hospital and Jail

lk7_muusikapaev_plakatYesterday was the international day of music – 1st of Oct. On that occasion Estonian Music Council organized 147 free concerts around the country. The performers included all major orchestras, most of the important chamber ensembles and soloists. The venues ranging from schools, trains and plain to jail and mental hospital. My day started at 10:30 with a concert at the University’s Psychiatric Hospital. A nice atrium, like a church. About 50 listeners. Then I continued at the hall of the University’s Clinics main building. About 50 listeners as well.

The third concert was in Tartu Prison’s chapel where the soprano Pirjo Püvi joined me. 50 male prisoners from all criminal specialties. All concerts were shortish – 30 min. I played my classical and flamenco guitars and the theorbo.

What is the magic of strange venues? Why would musicians want to go to such places even without getting paid? Thought about it and I think I know the answer: the unusual context sets different rules compared to the usual concert hall’s rules. It’s where mere showing up with your instrument up can make people happy. Anything a musician does in this situation is percieved positively. And musicians need that feeling – perfect attention, happy faces and the special feeling in the air. That’s why many of us would do it again.

Kristo Käo at Tartu University's Psychiatric Clinic. Photo by: Mihkel Joasoo

Kristo Käo at Tartu University’s Psychiatric Clinic. Photo by: Mihkel Joasoo

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