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The People's

The People's image
Parent Issue
Day
15
Month
October
Year
1975
OCR Text

In i he course oí thcn piolonged struggle with syniphin management to attain greatei control ol theii creative environment, and m the absence of significant progress, the mitsicians oí the Deimit Symphony Orchestra have deveioped :i provisional organiza tío n fiuanced and opciated b themselvcs- and i he autlienco is aiready beginning to reap ihe benefits. . '?V-; KKUXK On Ocjober 1, in otdcr to demónstrate tlieir coinmitment to play t'or the people of Detroit despue all obstacles, tlic musidaxis treated passers-by to a free open-aíi concert in t'iont of a locked-up Ford Auditorium. The easually-garbed players showed their independence by performing one selection without a conductor, another led by their own chief violinist, and slill another guesl-condueted by the President of the Detroit Federation ol Mitsicians. Nol surprisingJy. the eritics noted a rare spontaneity and hrio in the rnaestro-Iess performance. Phen, sincc management had unilaterally canceled seveial local concerts and an eastern tour despite the musicians' offer to continue tó play on a day-to-day basis, the musicians aiutuuuced their own concerl season, booking thcniselves into Music Hall Center, the (Jichestra's old Stomptng giounds. Lovers of the music wil! be able to enjoy it at un preceden tedly popular pnces S5 lor each of the hali's 1,700 seats in a setting conducive (o excellent sound and intímate conununication between artist and auditor. Guest musicians of national renown, including Mitch Miiler. have agreed to appear. None of the proceeds will go to star eonductors, booking jgencies, or managers. The musici.ins are concerned with severa! non-eeonomic issues, notably that they iiain a say in the hiring and (iring of orchestra personae!. "As essen fjaily spontaneous. emoiional peuple, we need a base from which our artistiy can grow," Paul (Janson, the 34-year-old bassoonist who has emerged as the spokesperson for the musicians, lolit the Sun. "We need an atmosphero of trust, nol of tear, where we can feel tree to expiess ourselves an atmosphere that inspires cieativity, rather tlian stilling it." It is interesiiag to see that people's insistence on having more to say about determining, and controlhng. the circumstances oi theii lives has now petietrated the traditionbound and authoritatian realm oi "senous" music. Usually, one person (long dead, more often than nol), has composed the music, which must then be reproduced note lor note by the musicians. Any interpreta lion is strictly controlled by another person. the conductor or musical director. 11 a musician is not a featured soloist, his or her individual identity can be swallowed up wiiole in the big sound. "I suppose i ha t resistance is the father of individual i ty," Cansón exphiins. "Individuals can blossom when tradition íesists them. That's wliy it's so exciting to be part ot .mi attempt to recreare sotnething which has been so static." (janson says the musicians are prepared to hold out indefiuitely il management plans k "staivo them out"' a tactic previously employed liy chiet management negotiatoi Dawson l.ewis at BAST Wyandotte, the downriver chemical giaut headed by Orchestra l'resiiient Robert B. Seinple (whose decisión it was to cancel the concetis). "W'e're asking for input, not a takeover," says Ganson. "'We're not asking Kir the moon. only a glimpse o' the stars."