During the process of writing the music for what would be my first CD release I had to take into consideration being a sole proprietor in music that I might be producing a very costly set of individually wrapped coasters. At the time I had the resources of Temple University’s Business Research Lab at my disposal. So I embarked on a research project for myself that would allow me to find the answers to the questions-who is listening to classical music and where do they get their information?
The findings gave me answers I didn’t expect. In the background information regarding the sustainability of classical music, the image came to mind of a flowers blooming process. On one side is a leaf of classical music that delivers the experience expectations of the aging core audience. The leaf opposite is the music delivered to the audience that is looking to expand their experiences with new music. The bud coming up in the center is the music that will fit the needs of both audiences as well as having an appeal to an audience who usually do not participate in the experience of classical music. The flower resulting from the bud is the music that reaches beyond the many challenges classical music faces in order for it to survive as a vital presenting force.
The images from my research returned when I received a copy of the recording Asbury Lanes, a collaboration between Dutch composer Chiel Meijering and classical guitarist Keith Calmes of Wall NJ. The two are onto something with their sound. It is the bud developing between the leaves of classical music that reminded of the Russian Five. Only Chiel Meijering and Keith Calmes didn’t start working together to change the course or give identity to a structure.
The music is from a highly creative period for both Meijering and Calmes that resulted in the release of eight recordings in 2012. Asbury Lanes is the release that can be equated to the beauty the eye beholds when the flower fully blooms. In addition to his work with Meijering, Calmes has released a solo classical guitar recording -All We Know is Now. This new music composed for and on the guitar is the experience that can draw in the younger demographic, many of whom grew up in the 1960’s listening to a lot of rock & roll and don’t relate to Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. All We Know is Now was a year in the making and offers the listener a cohesive progression of pieces where Calmes guides his guests through an intricate melodic and rhythmic experience through his masterful guitar playing.
There is another release on the way resulting from the collaboration between Meijering and Calmes – Ladies Collection: trios and quartets for electric and acoustic guitar. Although not released at this point the experience has started with the anticipation. I know my experience expectations will be met when I take the journey. I am reminded of a scene from Cecil B. DeMille’s Moses where a woman in her daily toil looks up and upon seeing the messenger exclaims, Moses!