Music & lockdown

La musique au temps du confinement
Cancellation of concerts, courses, rehearsals, temporary closure of businesses... We know that many of you are directly impacted in your daily life and that times are difficult. The whole Henri SELMER Paris team would like to share its best thoughts with you. In order to give ourselves a little hope and balm to our hearts, we wanted today to identify online initiatives and resources to encourage sharing, mutual aid and support.

Home sessions & direct live

In this period of lockdown due to the Covid19 pandemic, artists are multiplying initiatives to change their mind, support each other, keep in touch and share beautiful musical moments. Facebook and Instagram have launched the hashtag #TogetherAtHome to promote these videos that allow cultural and social life to continue.

Among our ambassadors, we can mention Ademir Junior and his raging audience, Jowee Omicil who's already recorded a dozen home sessions for his fans, Jean Yves Chevallier who plays regularly from his balcony, John Brenner who's doing live feeds every night on facebook, but also Mario Marzi, Archie Shepp, Larkin SandersAlessandro CarbonareNikita Zimin, Guy DangainJacques Schwarz-Bart, Yen Ching-Shyan, Artem Golodnyuk...

Some are fortunate enough to be confined to a family of musicians; this is the case of Stephen Williamson (Principal Clarinet of the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra), who performed an arrangement of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with his wife on horn, and his sons on tuba, horn and trumpet. Likewise, the Delangle's family was organizing a reading concert on March 25...

In another register, clarinettist David Krakauer hosts a mini-broadcast every Sunday with a guest artist. The first episode offered us a nice interactive moment with Kinan Azmeh.


Everyone at home together

The ensembles are also looking for alternatives to continue working. This has led to the emergence of a new type of video in the form of a mosaic: everyone films and records themselves at home, then the whole thing is assembled and mixed. The symbol is strong and the result very impressive. The musicians of the Orchestre National de France thus offered us a pure moment of bliss with their interpretation of Ravel's Boléro.


They are not the only ones to have circumvented the obstacle of social distancing in order to reconnect in music with their partners and the public; we can also mention the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and its interpretation of Beethoven's Ode to Joy, the National Orchestra of Lyon and Bizet's L'Arlésienne, or the students of the CRR in Angers who chose to interpret Handel's La Réjouissance. Several orchestras have announced that they too are preparing to take up the challenge, and we can't wait to discover their nuggets...

The smaller sets are not to be outdone and their videos also give balm to the heart: we advise you in particular those of Alessandro Carbonare and his trio, Aliada duo (with Michal Knot), Emma McPhilemy and Philipp Sharp, Rayuela Ensemble...

Other musicians compose with their solitude (and their talent!) to offer us nice duets via a rather cheerful split personality... (Feel free to check out volume 2 on the facebook page of Joë Christophe.)


Tutorials & pedagogy

This period of confinement can also be a time to settle down, to work on your technique, to refocus on a personal practice free of the multiple demands of daily life...

With this in mind, Nathan Nabb created the Facebook group "Saxophone Studio Class-online!", an online saxophone class open to all, organizing conferences, question-and-answer sessions and other events with professionals in the field. Yesterday, the great Debra Richtmeyer was invited to speak about pedagogy, musical intent and inspiration. Meet Timothy McAllister the 4th of april !

For Spanish speakers, saxophonist Douglas Braga offers live lessons on Instagram. John Cipolla has also lent himself to the game by posting exercises for clarinet and saxophone on his YouTube channel.

Oran Etkin offers an online musical awakening class for children through games, stories and songs. Several years ago, the New York clarinetist created the Timbalooloo method of music initiation, which he has been using on stage, in audio supports, in a music development centre in New York, and now online on Facebook and via Zoom.

For children too, Sarah Watts creates musical tales with actor and voice actor Jon Iles. Every day, she posts a new sequence of Pinocchio's story online, in a podcast that beautifully combines oral narration and clarinet.

This is also the time to discover or browse the youtube channel of clarinetist Michael Lowenstern. This channel is full of tutorials and educational content of high quality. In particular, he offers clarinetists the opportunity to play with him on pieces he has recorded, leaving an empty track. Interactive and refreshing!


In addition, some musicians provide free access to sheet music. This is the case of Vincent David, who has composed and made available an educational piece for alto saxophone as a tribute to the nursing staff, or Matthieu Delage who has created a "pedagogy" section on his website.


Institutions open their doors online

The mobilization of the world of music also involves cultural institutions, of course. To help the public better experience the confinement, several of them offer free and unlimited access to their concerts.

The Philharmonie de Paris makes available a catalogue of 900 concerts (about a hundred in full), interviews and documentaries online. In addition, every day at 8:30 pm, a concert from its archives is put back online for a period of 24 hours. The site also offers content dedicated to children: musical works with commentary and illustrations, tales, musical culture games, etc.

The Philharmonic Orchestras of Berlin, Vienna and Munich also open their archives. The Berlin Philharmonic thus gives free access to the Digital Concert Hall : a huge platform for concerts, documentaries and interviews (A little extra for saxophone enthusiasts: our ambassador Tak Chiu Wong has compiled a list of concerts including saxophonists, including Jan Schulte-Bunert, Timothy McAllister and Johannes Ernst).

The major opera houses also give access to certain shows; we can cite the Metropolitan Opera (New York), which offers a performance from its archives every day for a duration of 23 hours, or the Paris Opera, which puts a new show online every six days.

In another style, Montreux Jazz Festival has decided to offer more than 50 concerts for free in streaming; you will find Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Quincy Jones, Marvin Gayes, Etta James, Carlos Santana...


And also… 

You now have enough to treat yourself to some beautiful musical journeys in full confinement. And yet, there are still so many beautiful things to discover... We also suggest:

► New albums of Baptiste Herbain, Marc boutillot, Alban Darche, Guillaume Perret (and his clip), Vincent David (et his clip).

► The replay of Manu Dibango's 80th birthday at l'Olympia, and a documentary about his life and work… A moving portrait of Papa Groove punctuated with never-before-seen musical sequences.

► The Sanborn Sessions that jazz saxophonist David Sanborn has been putting online regularly for the past two months. Splendid!

► The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra website with our friend Michael Rusinek as Principal clarinet. The Orchestra has also taken initiatives in these times of confinement and offers streaming concerts, music selections and educational support. First concert put online: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, "Pathétique".

► The Göteborg Symphony Orchestra website wich also offers many free quality contents (HD concerts, interviews...).

► This nice podcast about the saxophone and its spiritual roots, offered by CBC/Radio-Canada

We hope that all these contents will give you a little joy, hope, and even allow you to live this period more peacefully. Music is a magical and universal way to connect people. So let's continue to play, share and transmit as much as we can.