The Return of the Salon

A friend and wonderful supporter of my music had an idea. I would come to his house some Saturday evening in January and give a private concert for his wife and several friends as a surprise Christmas present, and afterward we would all enjoy wine and dessert. I said yes (almost before he could get all the details out).

I covet that fireplace.

I arrived on the arranged evening amid a strange, mid-January rainstorm that left the sidewalks icy and slushy and treacherous. But it was nothing I haven't traversed before with a harp on my shoulder, and I wasn't going to miss this for the world. After I got set up, my friend called his wife and told her that the surprise was ready to begin. She took one look at the harp, and said, "I KNEW it would be Amy!" My friend rolled his eyes and said, "I think she HOPED it would be you." Evidently, he had kind of led her to believe there would be a murder mystery dinner going on...

It was wonderful to perform for such an intimate group. I quickly realized that my carefully crafted program wasn't going to be followed...at all. My audience was curious, inquisitive and asked really interesting and delightful questions (ranging from "Did you find the harp or did the harp find you?" to "What inspired you to compose that piece that way?"). I ended up omitting pieces and adding songs on the fly to demonstrate what I was talking about and to clarify the points they brought up.

The entire evening made me think of the salons held in Europe (begun in France, by the way) throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, where the cultural elite would gather in the home of an inspiring host for reasoned debate, impassioned discussion and increased knowledge through conversation.

Our time together went by too fast.
As promised, there was wine and a decadent cheesecake afterward
(baked by the host himself) and more conversation
which turned into much laughter.

I think a salon revival is long overdue. Who's with me?

1 comment:

  1. That sounds delightful. I think everyone should shut off thier televisions and computers and hold a salon. What a wonderful idea!