Musicians to play intimate gigs around homes in Medway next week.

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A unique concept will see classical musicians and composers swapping the concert halls for the kitchens and living rooms of homes in Medway next week.

Opera singer Tania Holland Williams came up with the idea to break down the elitist boundaries around classical music and to encourage informal discussions about the genre.

Under the title of Davy Jones’ Locker, 18 homes in the Medway area will see singers, pianists, cellists and clarinetists perform alongside composers in intimate settings that will help the audience truly connect with what they are listening to.

“The boundaries between musical genres have been disintegrating, particularly in the last 15 years or so,” she said. “What we used to understand is rock music or jazz music. But there is so much blurring of the lines now.

“Classical music has become a victim of wanting to remain a bit elite.

“You don’t get the permission to have a conversation in a concert hall, there’ just no space or platform for saying have you heard of someone like Jeff Buckley?”

The 47-year-old worked as an opera singer in Germany for the last five years and spent two years touring around the continent and Canada before heading back to her home county where she is keen to open up the doors into classical music.

“A hundred years ago we used to have musicians playing music at home. Wouldn’t it be great to see if people are up for that again,” she said. “I put out a call to all family and friends that live in the area, and it was amazing they passed it on. We had 18 people say they would like to do something in their house.

“I have never done anything like this before. It is not for every musician. It’s too close and too familiar.

“I think it will be interesting to see how it works. It’s quite a diverse series of homes. We have got a couple of large dwellings and a couple of two up two down. That’s going to really affect the feel of things.”

So what does the future hold if it all goes well?

“The next stage for me is I would like to do this project again,” she said. “I would like to do it in another town like Canterbury.

“I have had some interest from a couple of music festivals too, including Sounds new in Canterbury and a couple further up the country. “

The events, which have been made possible thanks to a £5,000 grant from Creative People and Places Swale and Medway, takes place from November 25-29, but are by invite only from the host. However there is a chance for the public to sample an informal evening of music themselves at the end of the month.

The project culminates in a coming together of all the hosts, musicians and composers at a public event on November 30. It takes place at St Margaret’s Church in St Margaret’s Street in Rochester at 7.45pm. Tickets are on sale at £7. To book email taniahollandwilliams@gmail.com or call 07775 507713.

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