We are proud and fortunate to have created the inspiring space that is Manifold Recording. But we always envisioned achieving something more than what we can do for artists, engineers, and producers. We believe that there is a larger public sphere that is curious, excited, and even ravenous for new ideas, new experiences, new musical performances and productions. We wanted to also create a space in which a newly-engaged public could bring new energy, new interests, and new resources to create a healthier, more vibrant, more sustainable future for music and musicians.
One thing I have learned as a former Trustee of a model Montessori school is the importance of the prepared environment. Characteristics of the prepared environment include: beauty, order, reality, simplicity and accessibility. It may have required the genius of Maria Montessori to explain why these are crucial to child development (compared with, say, efficiency, authority, policy, technology, and convenience), but as adults, it is obvious to most of us that such environments are conducive to our own development, too! Like fertile ground ready to bring forth an abundant harvest of whatever may be planted, prepared environments known as Salons helped bring about The Enlightenment by injecting academic discussion and debate into a newly formed public sphere (that was also a by-product of the Salon experience). Adam Smith and Benjamin Franklin presented and refined their ideas at salons, “inventing” large parts of modern capitalism and modern democracy in the process.
But commerce and politics were not the exclusive subjects of salons–they were but two of myriad subjects that excited those who participated. Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt were proof of that. Chopin, in fact, preferred the environment of the salon to public performances. Continue reading “The Miraverse: A Salon for the 21st Century”