We are about two months into the Music in Familiar Spaces project and so far there have been moments of “what on earth are we doing?”, “wow, we’re really doing this!” and everything in between. We are spending one year traveling the country in a 1959 travel trailer bringing the classical music experience at its highest level to familiar spaces like homes, cafés, churches and meeting places, even the local brewery.
We first got the idea for Music in Familiar Spaces while living in Netherlands, where we lived the last four years. Steuart was constantly traveling as a freelance musician, having incredible opportunities as a soloist and chamber musician. But we were getting tired of the skype marriage and he was tired of living out of a suitcase. So we decided to move back to the U.S. and start something together, something we really care about: connecting with people through music. We spent about a year and a half thinking about and planning for Music in Familiar Spaces, and it’s exciting (and a bit terrifying) to get started.
Our tour route was planned based on friends and family around the country who could connect us with their communities. With a non-existent publicity budget, no agents, no managers (except for Michelle), we are relying on grassroots support to build our audience. Steuart has designed programs specifically meant to engage and attract audiences of all backgrounds, and we’re playing in places where community already exists. Most of the concerts so far have been a success with an eclectic and enthusiastic audience, supporting us with what they have (concerts are name-your-ticket-price), and committing to spread the word to their friends in other cities. We’ve also learned a lot about the types of venues to book, scheduling, and communicating with all sorts of people. We live in an amazingly diverse country, and it’s been fun learning about how different communities engage with live music.
Just last week we played a Bach & Beer concert at brewery in Nashville, parked at a family farm and played in their barn in Knoxville, and then headed to South Carolina for concerts in a café and another in a brewery. From here we’re off to Georgia, Alabama and Texas, and that’s just the next month! We would love to connect with you while we’re on this tour. From recommending venues, telling your friends about the concerts, suggesting good media contacts, to letting us park in your driveway, there are lots of ways for you to be involved! Please check out our website, plus where we’re going, and an updated list on all the ways you can get involved!