A unique opportunity for people in Salina to experience the intersection of classical and electronic music is coming, as the Salina Symphony is hosting a club night downtown next week.
The Non-Classical Club Night begins with doors opening at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4 at The Warehouse, 500 N. Fifth St., and will feature music by composer and DJ Gabriel Prokofiev.
“His music is a really interesting intersection of classical and electronic,” said Adrianne Allen, executive director of the symphony.
Prokofiev, who will also be featured during the symphony’s Nov. 6 concert, “Romance,” is the grandson of prolific Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, and is no stranger to what many would typically think of as symphonic music.
“His approach is very, very different (from his grandfather),” said Yaniv Segal, the music director and conductor of the Salina Symphony. “(Gabriel) grew up playing acoustic music in school bands and ended up playing some keyboards. When he was young, he got into electronic music and synthesizers, which kind of became his passion.”
Combining the acoustic with the electronic
Segal said Gabriel began creating music in both acoustic and electronic, separately, but ended up combining the two into one.
“His big thing is to have live musicians for part of it and then he can play his own electronics, together, with the musicians,” Segal said.
When the club show happens in Salina, Prokofiev will be joined by Segal on violin and Melanie Mann, the symphony’s principal violist.
“We’ll be performing some music from this new album he’s released called ‘Breaking Screens,'” Segal said. “That’s somewhat relevant, because the symphony is actually playing the same thing with him, in a larger version, (at the concert) on Sunday.”
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In addition to this tease of the “Romance” concert, the club show will also have remixes of Prokofiev’s string quartets. Finally, the night will feature not only these performance sets, but will also give those attending a taste of what a live DJ set can be.
“(It’s) a more traditional club set, where he’s DJing by himself,” Segal said. “I think that’ll have more beats to it.”
Bringing everyone access to music
Segal is very aware of the perception of many, that the symphony is something reserved for the elite and the upper-class, with only classic styles of music being played in the concert hall. He also said he hopes these kinds of perceptions can be dismissed.
“We’re about a hundred years removed from the world premiere of a piece called ‘Rhapsody in Blue,'” he said. “At the time, George Gershwin was bringing jazz into a concert hall. Now, you can go to any classical concert and hear ‘Rhapsody in Blue.'”
He said allowing relevant and new music into the sphere of the classical concert hall brought such greats as Leonard Bernstein.
“If you think about Mozart and Beethoven, they included Turkish music into some of their most well-known pieces,” Segal said. “These old symphonies, their third movements were typically minuets, which was a dance that people did.”
Segal said there is a history of bringing the relevant dance and folk music of the time into the concert hall.
“Gabriel is doing that…taking hip hop, funk (or) whatever you might hear in a club setting, and bringing that into his concert pieces,” Segal said.
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Not only is work like Prokofiev’s bringing that relevance to the classical, but the reverse is happening as well.
“We’re bringing the classical music into the club,” Segal said.
Segal said he recognizes the history of classical music has been one that was supported by kings, queens and other royalty, skewing toward the elite.
“I’m trying to move away from that,” he said. “I think the type of demographic that might be attracted to a club night, exactly as we’re hoping, will be for someone who is looking for a different experience and to tie that experience together with the symphony.”
This kind of event is right in line with the messaging that Segal is trying to get across, that the symphony can offer and include something for everyone.
“Somebody who might otherwise not have thought about coming on Sunday, if they enjoy what they hear on Friday, maybe they’ll consider coming back (to other symphony events) and then have an opportunity to hear a wide variety of music,” Segal said.
Tickets for the club night on sale now
Tickets for the the Salina Symphony Non-Classical Club Night are available until Tuesday, Nov. 1 and are $30.
The event is limited to adults aged 21 and over with each ticker holder getting small bites and two adult beverages.
For more information about this event or to purchase tickets, visit the Salina Symphony website at www.salinasymphony.org and searching Non-Classical.