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Friday, March 28, 2014

Music Generations Groningen

After some years of making plans, (not) convincing possible partners and (not) finding money, finally this afternoon the first Groningen version of the Music Generations programme started after all. I was there to take a look, and I was proud.

Music Generations is a programme which aims at making an intergenerational production with amateur singers from the categories "25-" and "50+" (which makes me feel discriminated, but because that feeling will end in a few months I am not too worried).

It calls itself a talent development programme, and maybe it is. As you may know, I am not too big a fan of the Talent-buzzword; but politicians, policy-makers and money-investors are attracted by it, so talent development it is. But what I liked most about the first audition I saw this afternoon was not the talent-thing; it was the fact that people were allowed to do their own musical thing in public. People were allowed to present themselves as the musical persons they are, all their idiosyncrasies included.

They all deserve the workshops and masterclasses offered by the programme; and they all deserve to grow musically and to become even better than they already are. But what I really hope is, that in all that growing and becoming better they do not lose themselves. I hope they grow mainly in becoming even more of the  themselves they already are.

Because that is the great attraction of sessions like the one I witnessed this afternoon: it shows how music potentially is, in the words of my beloved Clifford Geertz, a meeting place to "enlarge the possibility of intelligible discourse between people quite different from one another in interest, outlook, wealth, and power, and yet contained in a world where tumbled as they are into endless connection, it is increasingly difficult to get out of each other’s way".

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