Eyes Wide Shut Concert is a performance which defies the conventional listening and showcasing classical music.
The concept put forth by Cristina Bobe consists of a 60 minute solo recital performed by the violinist Valentin Șerban in pitch black darkness and includes one of the most complex works from the violinistic repertoire (Bach, Kreisler, Enescu, Paganini, Ysaÿe) exclusively rendered from the artist’s memory. The concert is followed by a talk between the artists and the audience starting from the listeners’ personal experiences when listening to music in darkness.
The current event is Cristina Bobe’s and Valentin Șerban’s first foray into experimenting creative ways to showcase classical music. The complete darkness in which the venue is enveloped and the audience’s involvement in a sensory experience without being distracted by the visual stimuli, makes the spectators completely focus on the sound and let their imagination run free in a relaxed environment without the pressure of social labels.
“We thought of this environment so the music could be internalized more easily. This concert is also an occasion for the audience to relive their own anguish, fears or joys so as to break free from them. I think this process is therapeutic and the return to the palpable world is enriched by a meeting with ourselves.” – Cristina Bobe, visual artist and initiator of the Artera | art + medicine space.
The Eyes Wide Shut Concertis a challenge both for the violinist and the audience, who has the occasion to understand and to perceive the music in a different manner. “You do not need your eyes to play an instrument so much as you might think. They help you read the score, but it is important not to stop at what you see, but to let your hands answer, guided first and foremost by your hearing. It is easier for me to play in darkness for I can better visualize what I would like to hear and later render into sound. Sometimes your sight forbids this exercise.” Valentin Șerban, violinist, member of the Les Dissonances Orchestrafrom Paris and concertmaster of the Romanian Youth Orchestra.
The Eyes Wide Shut Concertstarted at Artera (Bucharest) and continues in a series of alternative venues in Romania (the Psychiatric Hospital from Căpâlnaș, the Pompadou Centerin Petrila, the Made in Roșia Montană workshop, the Evangelical Church from Cincșor, the shed of a household in Șomartin village, the compound of a mansion from Țara Hațegului etc.).