Chamber music in the woods

Yesterday I was feeling particularly sad about the loss of live music during lockdown and the stories of musicians who just don’t have any work at the moment. And then, because this how my brain works, I thought, how can we put on some live chamber music at Hazel Hill Woods?

I have always enjoyed dreaming up possibilities for different kinds of events we could run at Hazel Hill, the 70 acre woodland where I am now chair of trustees. Four years ago my partner and I went to the woods with friends and family to celebrate our four-year wedding anniversary. As part of the fun we played through some of the chamber music pieces we had at our wedding. This picture captures it all.

Current restrictions stop people from holding in-door music events, but there is plenty of space to play through some music outdoors. I think the ideal spot would be to play in the Heartwood – which, as the name suggests, is right in the middle of the woods. It could be a daytime event, or an early evening event and attendees could camp.

The Heartwood at Hazel Hill Woods

We don’t allow any outdoor, amplified music at the woods, but I think chamber music would be allowed. It’s about respecting the environment, the neighbourds and the atmosphere of the place – but I feel all of that should be possible. It would be interesting to see how we could bring the sounds of the wood into the performance somehow.

There’s different ways we could configure things. It could be a straightforward ticketed gig with professional musicians, or it could be an event where amateur musicians meet up to play through some pieces of music in the woods.

If you have any thoughts on how to make this work then please let me know.

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