The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday December 6th

Harpischord duo hopes to draw students to classical music

Harpsichord group Duo De Jordaan is coming to UNC today to change what people think of live classical music.

Adam Jaffe and Anthony Abouhamad, who lead the group and have toured the world together, will perform the works of Bach, Mozart and others from the Enlightenment Era as part of the music department's William S. Newman Artists Series.

“If people want to come for entertainment, that is all this is," Abouhamad said. "It’s pure entertainment.”

The group will be playing the harpsichord, an instrument similar to the piano. But instead of one of the artists playing the harpsichord at a time or each artist utilizing their own harpsichord, the duo will play one harpsichord simultaneously.

”The fact that four hands are playing instead of the normal two, (means) there’s going to be a new robustness to the sound that should be interesting,“ said Allen Anderson, associate chair of the music department.

Abouhamad said there is to be no barrier between the duo and the audience, and that they want to interact with the audience more than anything.

“We hate stuffy music hall concerts,“ Jaffe said. “We want to connect with the audience.”

Brent Wissick, professor in the music department, agreed that the audience should be taken into consideration during live shows.

“We’re looking forward to finding out how they make very formal music approachable by the audience,“ he said.

The duo said they are ready to end stereotypes that classical music is haughty.

"(There are) no rules about when you can applaud or when you have to be silent," Jaffe said. "If you want to applaud in the middle of the piece, feel free to do that. Applaud. If you want to cry in the middle of the piece then do it loudly."

Wissick agreed that many people have negative stereotypes about classical music.

“It can seem so formal that it's not for 20-year-olds, it's for 60-year-olds," he said. "We hope that students will give it a try.”

Wissick hopes audience members — especially UNC students — will become interested, and realize that this type of music is not solely something that people from older generations play. There are harpsichords on campus and students play them.

The duo said they hope to bring back the idea of a fun classical performance.

"Both of us have started to hate recordings," Jaffe said. "They’re always perfect, and I don’t think there’s anything more boring than perfection in music.”

Abouhamad said perfection takes away from the reality of music.

“Music is never its own bubble," he said. "It kind of moves with what’s happening in the times. It should be reflective of what society is — I mean nothing in nature is perfect.”

Jaffe said above all, he wants audience members at the performance to react to the music.

“The point of the music is to arouse passions,” he said. 

arts@dailytarheel.com 

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