This Thursday evening from 5-10PM, the Bus Mall on NW Fifth between Burnside and Glisan will turn into a free concert space. Exploring the relationship between architecture and music, the Music Population Project (MPP) orchestra is presenting an ongoing international concert series called “Can You Hear It?”
The orchestra seeks to, in the words of the press release, challenge “the passive relationship many have with architecture and music,” by playing in prominent ‘city rooms’ throughout Portland. On July 21, the MPP played in South Waterfront. Yesterday they played outside Bridgeport Village (apparently their definition of ‘city’ is a loose one). Their final show will be this one on the Bus Mall.
The intent of the “Can You Hear It?” concert series, which includes performances in Oslo, Norway in addition to Portland is encourage dialogs not just about music, but also the role that architecture plays in our society. "I think we use and surround ourselves with architecture without really considering or thinking about the structures that become the canvas for our society," explains MPP founder Brede Rørstad.
Unfortunately I’m posting this too late for the Bridgeport Village concert, but it might be great fun seeing a chamber music concert on the under-construction MAX tracks. Or at least it might be a step up artistically from the usual amateur musicians playing for a handout.
Come to think of it, I just had an idea – or remembered one somebody else had. What if some cultural organization such as RACC or the Oregon Cultural Trust started handing out grants to applying musicians to serenade the city? It’d be a great way to encourage and support artists, and might help create a nicer environment in the urban core.