Colorado Music Festival & Center for Musical Arts | Music Mash-Up with Radiohead & Brahms

There’s something to be said about focusing on one thing at a time.

My inability to not multi-task means that I am not bilingual, I’m good at piano but not great, and a small injury can drive me crazy.

Becoming aware of your addiction is the first step to recovery, or so I hear.

It’s also nice to know that I’m not alone. Elizabeth Gilbert traveled all the way to India to hone her meditation practice. And while meditation itself is typically focuses on the absence of all thought, I think that the ability of focusing on one thing at a time is pretty darn good.

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Because sometimes 2nd place isn’t a bad place to be, right?

When you think about it, attending the symphony is one of the best experiences a multitasker can have; there are no performers to provide visual distractions, the absence of a dialogue helps your mind relax, and hopefully your smartphone is put away….

And listen.

For these reasons, I think Chris once found the symphony rather boring.

Then one day during our honeymoon, we stumbled upon an old church in Venice and learned about a small ensemble playing the following evening nearby. The next day we dressed up for our date night, took a boat down the canal, and immersed ourselves in 3 hours of stunning acoustics.

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We had such a good time attending that concert in Italy, that on our 2nd day in Iceland we made a point to walk to the concert hall and secure tickets for a performance on our last night in Reykjavík.

The Concert Hall | In Reykjavík
Me outside of the Concert Hall | In Reykjavík

We’re lucky that Colorado also has a thriving musical arts program.

Last Sunday we attended the first of new Music Mash-Up Series by the Colorado Music Festival & Center for Musical Arts. The Colorado Music Festival, which occurs annually at the Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder, hosted this new event featuring a “Taste of Boulder” Happy Hour followed by a Mash-Up of Radiohead’s OK Computer album (1997) and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 (1876).

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The “Taste of Boulder” Happy Hour consisted of an hour and a half of small plates and beverages beneath three different tents surrounding the auditorium. Here are a few of our favorites we snapped during the evening.

The “Taste of Boulder” was very reminiscent of Taste of Pearl, so of course I enjoyed it immensely. There was a diverse offering of food and drink, and everything was quite tasty.

Overall, I thought the whole happy hour concept for this event was smart. Most of us tend to make an evening out of these performances by first eating dinner downtown with friends. So why not bring that social hour back to Chautauqua? The 6pm “Taste of Boulder” also meant getting the headache of finding a parking space over and done with early on.

So how was the concert?

I’m no musical expert, but I thought that conductor Steve Hackman did a phenomenal job with the arrangement. Periodically you’d hear a measure or two of complete discord, only for the score to quickly settle into a pleasing resolution. The real magic though, occurred when the three amazingly talented vocalists (Andrew Lipke, Bill Prokopow, and Kristin Newborn) carried Radiohead’s melodies.

More than once I caught myself with my mouth open like this:

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The Colorado Music Festival did record that performance, and at the conclusion of the evening they promised a recording would be available soon. I am very excited to add that performance to my itunes library.

There are two more concerts in the Mash-Up series scheduled in the following weeks, Time for Three (with special guest appearance by Joshua Radin) and Elephant Revival with Orchestra. Judging by the descriptions on the website, these performances look less like a mash-up and more like a band with an orchestra playing backup; if this is the case I’m sure the evening will still be enjoyable, but I know that I personally really enjoy an orchestra taking center stage.

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