The Departments of Art, Music, and Literature and Creative Writing collaborated on presenting a chamber salon on Dec. 4 at the Linda Johnson Gallery of the Kennedy Center for Theatre and Studio Arts. The event featured student performances of musical pieces and poetry, as well as a student video exhibition.
Sight/ Sound/ Spoken is the main event of the chamber music program each semester. This event is the third of its type at Hamilton. “The idea behind this was to create a new performing experience for the chamber music program that was more in keeping with the more ‘up close and personal’ nature of chamber music,” said Heather Buchman, chair of the Music Department and director of the College Orchestra & chamber music. The program currently includes 40 performers—the greatest number ever since it started.
The chamber program presented a concert composed of a variety of instruments and genres of music ranging from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker to the more contemporary Music for Pieces of Wood by Steve Reich.
The video exhibition is composed of student projects for introductory classes to video and animation. “Some of the works are created in response to the Wellin Museum’s exhibition Senses of Time, while others are explorations of the visual language of abstraction, some pieces involve personal narratives,” said Professor of Art Ella Gant.
Buchman described the gallery as an “uncluttered, minimalist space” that contributed to the informality of the event and, thus, makes the audience comfortable. The audience was encouraged to wander around the spacious Gallery and sit in various spots to enjoy the different acoustic experiences that each part of the Gallery offers.
Through this event, student performers learn to directly introduce their pieces to the audience, since there is no printed program. This, as well as the fact that the audience can take a seat on the steps right next to the performance stage, enhanced the connection between audience and performers. “For the listener, that more intimate experience of chamber music is something you sense vicariously and intuitively,” asserted Buchman.