On Sat. Apr. 21st I’m playing a solo show at the Shalin Liu, a beautiful new theater in Rockport, MA, about 45 minutes north of Boston.  As soon as I saw this picture of the theater, I couldn’t wait to play there:

Shalin Liu Performance Center - Interior

Shalin Liu Performance Center - Interior (Photo: RobertBensonPhoto.com/)

I’m no architecture expert, but I know that sense of place plays a huge part in how we experience music.

I’m not just talking about acoustics, although I know that’s a factor.  It’s also the sense of romance in where we are and what we’re doing. 

For me … theaters are romantic.

A few weeks ago I played the Byrd Theater in Richmond, VA, a lush renovated old movie theater that creates the experience of existing in two eras at the same moment.  It feels slightly inebriating, that sense of luscious imbalance about time It’s like you’re standing in an era that no longer exists except inside that theater.

Here’s what the Byrd looks like today, right at this minute —  and yes, there’s really, truly a full-size harp in the balcony inset on the right – not a picture, but a real harp:

Byrd Theater - Richmond - Interior

So in the Byrd, you experience being in two ‘times’ at once.  It’s like a luscious quantum double-entendre.   Yeah.  I’ll call it an LQDE – Luscious Quantum Double-Entendre. For now.

When I saw that first photo for the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport where I’ll be playing next week about 45 minutes north of Boston, I experienced a similar Luscious Quantum Double-Entendre.  This time it was spacial: the experience of being inside-and-outside at the same time.  It looked like the architects had designed it to give the audience the double-experience of what ‘s happening INSIDE on stage and where we ARE OUTSIDE right now: on the cliffs of Cape Ann, overlooking the ocean.

Think about that.  How often do we get to integrate the outside of a concert hall into our inside-the-concert-hall experience in an artistic way?  Sure, in a heat-wave, we’re grateful to be in an air conditioned theater but that’s an escape from the outside. What immediately struck me about the Shalin Liu is that the outside seems to be brought in to the artistic experience as an enhancement.

And that means it will enhance my experience of the show as well.  And that is a recipe for heightened experience – art upon art upon art.

 So if you’re anywhere near Rockport, MA on Sat. April 21st, please come spend the evening inside-outside-inside with me at the Shalin Liu and engage in a Luscious Quantum Double-Entendre.  Here’s more about the show.  I hope you’ll be there with me!

For more information about this show, presented by Rockport Music:  https://hipharp.com/events/2012/ShalinLiu.html

To go straight to tickets: http://tickets.rockportmusic.org/single/SelectSeatingSYOS.aspx?p=955&z=3&pt=2

To call the Box Office (Mon-Fri 10AM – 4pm)  978.546.7391

Shalin Liu - Exterior View

Shalin Liu Performance Center - Exterior (Photo: RobertBensonPhoto.com/)


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