Athens Report : Lena Kuban, Percussion

Monday 8 July 2019by Lena Kuban

The project "Europe in C“ is a great opportunity to meet other musicians from different countries and to connect with them. The main focus of this project lays on the piece „In C“ by Terry Riley. It is made of 53 different patterns which are to be played one after the other. There are only a few rules to follow which makes it easy for a large group of musicians to play together.

Owing to that and because of the easy designed patterns it can be played not only by full educated musicians but by beginners and a mixed group with different abilities.

I learned that by myself, since after a few days of playing the marimba, I got to play a kind of hang drum because we couldn‘t transport the marimba to the concert hall. After getting to know the instrument a little better, I could play easily with the other participants.

By playing this new instrument I recognised a few more difficulties which some other participants might have had as well. Despite of the piece`s simple structure there were some parts which were hard to play on some instruments because of the instrument`s capacity. Further, the instruments had different volume levels so that it was difficult to listen to the quieter ones or to listen even to the own sound. This got even worse when we had the last practice right before the concert.

The concert took place in a gymnasium with an enormus echo all over the place. Gladly we had a soundcheck and after that we practiced listening to each other once more, so we played a really great concert. People came and walked around between the circle of musicians, stood right beneath some of us and listened carefully. It helped us to listen even more to the others play and so we could do heavy crescendi and decrescendi without having a conductor.

This playing together helped all of us to get together, form a union and to get over the last distances between the different languages. After the concert I talked to a lot Greek people, we exchanged experiences and connected on social media.

It was a really great experience and I whished we had a concert like that right at the start of the project, so we could have get together sooner. I think this shows that the aim of this project was achieved at the end of the week.