Research Seminar - Zoë Loxley Slump

Image Credit: Ettore Altomare

1:1 Concerts for a pandemic: Learnings from intimate musical encounters

In the midst of Covid19 lockdowns in Europe, the initiative 1:1 CONCERTS was founded in Germany: a single listener and a single musician at a 2-metre distance in a non-traditional performance space, sharing a 10-minute non-verbal musical encounter. By mid-2020 the 1:1 CONCERTS model had expanded to several other countries, including Australia, where currently over 450 Concerts have taken place across seven cities. In early 2021, the authors conducted an online survey and series of focus groups with musicians, listeners and facilitators (‘hosts’) of 1:1 CONCERTS in Australia, seeking perspectives on their experiences of the Concerts. Camlin’s (2014) three dimensions of music – aesthetic/presentational, praxial/participatory, and social – served as a conceptual framework to guide thematic data analysis. Findings indicate that the intimate non-verbal, locational and musical aspects of the encounter generated strong feelings of connection, privilege, and pleasure for participants; for some, recent distressing experiences of Covid19 lockdowns, enforced social distancing and live-arts deprivation served to heighten those feelings. We argue that while 1:1 CONCERTS retain presentational aspects typical of Western classical music concerts, the model emphasises the social, relational, and ethical dimensions of music-making, prioritising process as well as product in ways that hold relevance for music and music-making as a social resource, well beyond the pandemic era.

Zoë Loxley Slump is in her third year of a Bachelor of Music (Classical Oboe Performance) at the Australian National University, as the recipient of the Ruth Pfanner Commencement Scholarship, and has been an Instrumental Scholar at the Wesley Music Centre since 2019.  She is a casual player for the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, a Front of House staff member at Llewellyn Hall, an Ambassador for the Omega Ensemble, and in 2020 she was a winner of the Canberra Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. 

Zoë is supported by co-authors Sally Walker and Catherine Grant. Performer, academic and music educator Sally Walker is the organiser of 1:1 CONCERTS in Australia. Catherine Grant (PhD) is a music educator and researcher at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia), and lead author on the paper '1:1 Concerts for a pandemic: Learnings from intimate musical encounters.'

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