A frothy bunch

• Andrew Tait (above) is one of the founding members of Australian Barqoue (below).

FANCY some Bach and a cold beer?

New Perth group Australian Baroque hope their informal, fun concerts will attract a wider and younger audience to classical music.

The innovative orchestra are holding several unique concerts, including one where you can you enjoy 18th century music while cuddling RSPCA kittens up for adoption.

Helen Kruger (violins), Andrew Tait (violone) and Patricia Alessi (mezzo-soprano) formed the baroque orchestra late last year and recently performed on ABC radio.

Tait says their Bach and Beer concerts are a throwback to the days of orchestras performing in informal settings.

“In Bach’s time, playing music wasn’t just reserved for concert halls,” he says.

“It was played in coffee houses, ale houses…even brothels.

“This is what can happen if music is not in the hushed environs of a concert hall.

“It was more a part of people’s lives; playing music in pubs doesn’t have to be loud rock ‘n’ roll.”

Australian Baroque are set to play the Perth Fringe Festival, and it’s one of the rare times that Perth audiences will get to see an orchestra playing baroque instruments.

Tait says they have a distinctive sound and are “significantly different” from their classical counterparts.

“Primarily they use gut strings and different bows,” he says.

“I play a double bass in the orchestra, but in the baroque orchestra I play the violone, which has six strings”.

The orchestra’s music taps into the ‘doctrine of affections’ philosophy, which influenced a lot of visual arts, music and creative disciplines during the Baroque era.

Tait hopes Australian Baroque can forge a niche for themselves in Perth.

“There’s a lot of people that get put off seeing classical music because of the strict etiquette – that’s why concerts in wineries become so popular.”

Go to fringeworld.com.au to book tickets for Australian Baroque.

by ALEX MURFETT

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