2. Tom Morris: How place frames music

WHAT’S IN THIS VIDEO: Take advantage of the unique place where you perform. John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit works in different settings because the music and concept are so strong. Think about the White Cube effect. Ultimately it’s the music that speaks – you want to create an experience so that it works to a subtle degree in which the place works to enhance the music but not dominate it. Expanding the range of venues adds to the experience of the music but what is overwhelming is the music and the setting doesn’t dominate. The setting gets to the essence of what the music is about. The notion of breaking down concert conventions is good; you start to build an expectation of unpredictability. It forces people to listen differently. [THIS VIDEO IS 5:00 LONG]



  1. I agree with Tom that the music is paramount. The most important part of the musical experience will still be there even if you close your eyes.

  2. If we define music as ‘organized sound’, I think we have to deprecate the environment, which is by definition not really organized (at least by the composer). However, the environment can enhance the experience (birds at ojai during concerts in the bowl) and the music can detract from the environment (I walked out of last year’s film Inuksuit because it felt like the drums were violating nature). It should be possible to respect both music and nature without sacrificing either.