16 September 2018
Pianist Christina McMaster is launching a lying down concert on September 21 in London.
Christina McMaster - Lie-down and Listen
London, Oval, St John the Divine, SW9 6JA
Statistics show Millennials are are turning to classical music to fulfil their quest for deeper musical experiences. The Guardian recently revealed Classic FM’s growing ratings amongst young audiences. “What once seemed only for an older, more highbrow crowd now broadcasts to 449,000 15- to 24-year-olds every week. That figure leaps to 1 million if you include everyone under 35, according to Rajar figures released in May... it represents part of a 30% increase in under-35 listenership in the past year and a half for the station.”
So with statistics like these - why don’t we see more Millennials at live classical music concerts?
Pianist Christina McMaster believes meeting audiences in their comfort zone through creating a relaxed environment is crucial, and this September she launches ‘Lie down + Listen’ - a lying down concert designed to benefit well-being. It’s a pioneering combination of music, meditation and restorative yoga and is based on tests and data collected over the last year in collaboration with the Cultural Institute at Kings College London. The team found that, “the combination of the music programme and the visuals did indeed increase wellbeing in the moment.” Dr Sally Marlow, KCL.
McMaster is not one to take the challenge of attracting new audiences lying down. She’s hailed as ‘one to watch’ by International Piano Magazine and is regularly featured on BBC Radio, Classic FM, and at top venues from the Southbank Centre to Ronnie Scott’s to Buckingham Palace. She trained at the Royal Academy of Music where she won numerous prizes, founded a new multimedia course, and was appointed Associate for her significant contribution to the music industry. Not only does she perform to the highest level with an ever-expanding repertoire (she recently recorded the fiendish Debussy Etudes in their entirety), but she also lectures, curates and commissions. Now, McMaster is on a mission to bring the positive effects of classical music on body and mind to a wide audience in unusually relaxed settings.
“Yoga has been life changing for me, it has helped me cope with the mental pressures of being a musician and build a strong community of like minded people. Through yoga I’ve learnt (and continue to learn) how to deepen my sense of connection - the very word ‘yoga’ means union of mind, body and spirit. In performance, when I am focused and connected my audience respond to this and so I feel a responsibility to lead and inspire like a great yoga teacher would.” - Christina McMaster.
The audience won’t only be there to Lie-down and Listen, but will be an integral presence at a truly one of a kind musical experience at the stunning church St John the Divine. If you’re lucky enough to attend, you’ll being greeted with wellbeing cocktails, followed by a lie-down on Lululemon Mats and cushions to be guided through suggested restorative lying down postures (suitable for all) led by Will Wheeler. Music by Meredith Monk, John Cage, Peteris Vasks and Philip Glass will be performed by Christina and the excellent Chamber Choir - The Carice Singers conducted by George Parris, enveloping you in good vibrations in a surround sound effect. Once in your positively altered state you are served a warming hot chocolate.
“I felt like I had just woken up from a really good sleep.” Gemma Saunders – Concert Attendee
Leading London yoga teacher and Lululemon Ambassador Will Wheeler says, “Restorative yoga postures are known to calm the central nervous system and create a stillness of mind, allowing the audience to listen on a deeper level.”
The project began in a cafe at New York’s MoMA through a chance meeting with Professor Sir John Strang - Head of the National Addiction Centre at KCL and subsequent introduction to Dr Sally Marlow. Their mutual interests in music and mental health planted seeds for the project, as they looked at previous studies of altered perceptions of time and space provoked by hallucinogenics and the hypnotic minimalist music of Terry Riley.
McMaster is a consummate collaborator, not only working with scientists, but with rappers, actors, multimedia artists and designers for London Fashion Week. So, it’s only fitting that McMaster has teamed up with Rude Health, Lululemon and the sustainable luxury brand Mother of Pearl for the event.
Christina McMaster - Pianist and Founder of Lie-down and Listen says, “These brands mirror lifestyle, and right now there is a huge emphasis on comfort, wellbeing, sustainability and going out to feel good and connect on a deeper, more meaningful level.”
Get your tickets here.