Music in the dark
Whoever comes to enjoy this fascinating experience, breathing calmly with the music as it is played, being open to the darkness with wide-open eyes, suddenly hears the music in a completely different way, and far more intensively. Excellent musicians (...) a phenomenal performance.
... without scores, in perfect understanding and mutual agreement — that has to be blind, since the very last candles in the hall have just been blown out by the violinist, cellist, and pianist themselves ... as listener one loses all contours, as well as a sense of time. As a result, one gains immensely in concentration ... The audience responded by expressing its enthusiasm with long applause for this impressive concert.
Bright performance, all in the dark.
The audience was utterly silent. The total concentration of the musicians also transformed the listeners.
...the three phenomenal young players, Magnus Boye Hansen (violin), Steven Walter (cello) and Mathias Susaas Halvorsen (piano) performed without any possibility of visual communication with one another. No scores, no glance at the keyboard, total darkness. The usual concet situation, in which visual impressions also play a role, was suddenly no longer there. Instead, all the other senses were noticeably enhanced.
...the Olsen Trio’s “Sounds Unseen” concert, performed Tuesday night under the auspices of thePortland Chamber Music Festival, was an unqualified success. A capacity audience was so enraptured by the experience that it remained silent for several minutes after the musicians stopped playing and somehow illuminated themselves in a ghastly green light. (...)The heightened ability to determine the location of a sound was just one of the uncanny effects of listening in darkness. Another was increased alertness. Normally, closing one’s eyes to eliminate distractions can lead to drowsiness. When you can see nothing with eyes wide open, the sense of hearing is highlighted without signaling to the body that it’s time to go to sleep. The blackness, which one soon gets used to, becomes a canvas on which to project images—in the case of Baltic and Scandinavian composers, lots of moving water, masses of ice, shimmering shards of broken glass and sometimes birdsong, as in the final “episodi e canto perpetuo” of Vasks, which has echoes of Olivier Messiaen’s “Catalogue d’oiseaux.” (As pointed out by a member of the astute and enthusiastic audience).