Mission & Philosophy
As the founder and president of Classical Reinvention, I have focused our mission on upholding the integrity of the art form while changing aspects of the presentation, concert environment, and of the classical brand on a broader scale. Too many orchestras are failing. Too many people write off classical music as a dead or dying art form. If musicians do not begin to advocate for their art, who will?
I've attached a brief essay (bottom of the page) I wrote about some of the problems with the current classical concert format. I postulate some ways we can solve these issues, and this organization functions to test my hypotheses. I welcome comments and ideas. Join us on facebook!
Our events are multimedia productions, specifically programmed to draw wider and more diverse audiences. Working with the McCombs School of Business, we measure the effect of our efforts throughout the semester and adjust accordingly.
We encourage any and all majors to participate. Fresh perspectives and ideas are essential to the success of this project. Music is a universal language, and you don't have to have a degree in classical music to have ideas about how to improve it.
Music in Real-Time
Our first concert featured real-time program notes behind the performers as they were playing. It took directed listening to the extreme by pointing out interesting and significant things to listen for at the exact moment it was happening!
As the stage was set for each act, the audience got to see a video interview I shot with the performer they were about to see. One of my favorites by far. Check out the video.
"Music Under the Stars" turned into "Music Among the Stars" when it started raining an hour before our outdoor performance. We were all set up to play on the roof of the UT astronomy building. There is a magnificent view of Austin and of the stars, especially with the impressive $20,000 telescope.
Luckily, I had reserved a room inside the building in case of a scenario like this one. We converted the room into a makeshift black box theater, and the performers became our "stars." I moderated a dialogue between the musicians and the audience members before every piece.
In addition, to my room reservation, I had brought along some supplies for my Plan B scenario. I set out paper, writing utensils, glow-in-the-dark chalk, and mosaic pieces. The audience members used the supplies to depict their experience of the event. After each piece, people shared and discussed their creations. Though we were robbed of our night under the stars, the performance turned into an intimate, enlightening, and inspiring experience.
April 11, 2012 marked an unusual evening at the Butterfly Bar on Manor Road. A DJ, two live bands, and eight classical music acts played between 8 and midnight in an event called Disco Classical. Musical acts ranged from a brass quintet playing video game music to flute with electronics; from a string quartet's Balkan dance tunes to saxophonists hitting tambourines with their feet. Classical acts segued into popular dance music at the top of each hour.
Over forty individuals were involved in the making of Disco Classical from start to finish, most of whom were students. By celebrating communities (in this case UT's nightlife-loving students) and introducing them to new sounds and experiences, I can link my passion for playing to a broader goal: using music to build a cooperative global community with concert experiences that encourage creative thinking and open-mindedness. -Kenzie Slottow
Musicians, dancers, and visual artists came together to create a remarkable performance in which artistic borders all but melted away. Dancers interpreted the live music of five diverse classical and jazz pieces through movement of varied genres. Meanwhile, visual artist, Randi Mabry, depicted the performance and interaction among the performers in real-time behind a glass frame. Artist commentary, audience participation, and magnificent performances combined to make this event truly unforgettable.
The Salon Concert Series
Pianist Jacqueline Perrin presented a program consisting of Beethoven, Bach, and Debussy for groups of listeners ranging from four to thirty people at a time. The intimate concerts cultivated a relaxed atmosphere, where audience members felt comfortable asking questions and discussing their own thoughts and experiences between pieces.
Before each movement Ms. Perrin gave commentary about the most fascinating aspects of each work, indicating specific moments to anticipate and contemplate. The commentary developed into a dialogue with the audience, which deeply enhanced their engagement with the music and with its rich history.
NewMusicBox journalist, Andrew Sigler, covers Synthesis with a look back at Classical Reinvention's journey through the years.
The Austin Chronicle highlights Synthesis as one of the standout shows in the festival!
The University of Texas Butler School of Music features Synthesis In Polyphony!
The Daily Texan videographer, Shila Farahani, spotlights Synthesis with interviews and clips of the show!