Friday, June 22, 2018 3:15pm
By Gajin Kim
From left: Gajin, Elsabeth and Sylvie at REMASTERED
The year was 2007; the epoch of cultural awakening marked by Converse shoes, low-rise jeans, beginning of iPhones and finale of the Harry Potter series. Launching of the National HPV Vaccination Program (amen). It was also the year in which my very first encounter with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra took place.
An irate young teen, I was searching for an alternative outlet for my deep and meaningful emotions when a friend informed me of a student rush ticket (now replaced by Live Pass, one of the highlights from my student days) to an ASO concert. Pieter Wispelwey was in town performing a cello concerto, and some seats in the Adelaide Festival Theatre were available at a raw bargain of $20 each. Naturally, I went running in my best black hoodie and wide-legged track pants – the effort was richly rewarded with something brilliant and splendid, something that was exhilarating yet comforting.
The memory of the night is something that I find myself revisiting to this day. There have been many more enriching experiences since then, made available to me in my lowly student budget, by the ASO’s Live Pass. It’s a $50-yearly pass for full-time students, which gives free access to over 14 select concerts throughout the season. And now I turn the focus to you, and what you might come to love if you were to join me and many others at the wonderful ASO (if you are already a frequent flyer, ignore this waffle, just come say hi!).
The following is a series of obviously really insightful reflections pertaining to modern-day classical music concerts.
- Concertgoers come in all shapes, sizes and attires - including, but not limited to, ripped jeans, tuxedos, running shoes, cocktail dresses and hoodies.
- Probably not all of the above at once, though.
- The repertoire is delightfully varied. From Bach to Bernstein to David Bowie to Star Wars, there is something for everyone.
- People bring quite literally whoever they want to share the moment with. Friends, partners, family, co-workers, teachers and students – or just their own content selves.
- It is not just for people who understand classical music.
- It is definitely where young people go to hang out (think REMASTERED; a concert and post-concert event that takes place four times a year, with a $25-pass for an A-reserve seat, alcohol and food, if you have a Live Pass).
- When in doubt, simply wait until others are clapping/talking.
- And no, you won’t be cruelly ridiculed if you do clap between each movement.
- In fact, enthusiasm is infectious and graciously accepted by patrons and artists alike.
- But you don’t have to be enthusiastic. You’re there to make an experience for yourself, not to answer to anyone’s expectation of how classical music should be received. Your impression may be different to others’, and it is as valid and important as anyone’s.
- You may, at times, feel rather dull during a concert.
- But then, there may be times when it’s one of the most inexplicably powerful moments of your life.
Some years have passed since I was a cynical teenager full of angst, and I have since successfully morphed to a respectable citizen on the surface. I no longer wear a dark hoodie nor black hair with block fringe, but one thing has remained constant – the enjoyment and transforming fulfilment derived from the ASO concerts. Do come and see what this welcoming and diverse community is like, and it may offer you the experience it has given me and many others so generously – warmth and enjoyment from the timeless beauty that is human emotions. Let the music in.