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Rachel Scott, School of Music Alumna: Working musician

ANU School of Music
Event organized by ANU School of Music

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ANU School of Music Alumna, Rachel Scott will visit Canberra to perform 'Bach in the Dark' with David Pereira (Friday 17 August, 7.30pm, Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU School of Music). Rachel will talk to students about her life as a working musician, in the Larry Sitsky Recital Room, 1 to 2pm. Free and open to ANU School of Music students and staff only.

"In July 2008, I went to visit a school in western NSW as part of a music programme I run for the Australian Children’s Music Foundation. On one very chilly morning I went into the year four class and asked the twenty-two children there if they had ever seen a cello before. There was silence. These ten year old kids could drive and shoot and were good little farm workers – but no-one had seen or heard a cello before. I had brought mine with me (I travel with a purple sparkly cello that Sydney kids have christened “Rocky”), so I got the children to lie on the floor of the demountable classroom (to feel the cello’s vibrations), and began to play. Like most cellists, I love Bach – so I started to play a prelude from the first cello suite.

And there was silence. When I stopped, a little freckle-faced boy sighed and said “That was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard”.
I kept playing – and those children lay there and just listened for six more movements. Both their teacher and I were transfixed by their reaction – it is one of those moments I will remember until the day I die.

It got me thinking. How many times have I played these suites, but not really listened to them? How many times have I played them in a concert, but people haven’t really stopped to be in the moment? And how could I create a concert where people could stop – and just listen?

In 2009, I began the series at St James Church – Sydney’s oldest church. An intimate audience would join me in the crypt (which, up to that date had never been used for concerts), and sit with a glass of wine, in the dark – so that nothing would distract them and both performer and listener would travel together for an hour. And I played Bach – to thank the children who showed me how to listen again."

Read more about Rachel: www.bachinthedark.com/

Please reserve your free ticket for this talk via the ticket link in this listing.