This week I came across the video made by cellist Felix Wurman about Domus at the beginning of the group’s career.
We were trying to publicise our concerts in our portable concert hall, a large geodesic dome which the players assembled out of aluminium tubes, putting it up and taking it down in each place (more on this tale in Beyond the Notes).
In those days it wasn’t standard practice for classical music groups to make videos. Felix was from Chicago and – along with his natural drive – he brought an enterprising American spirit to everything he did. We would probably never have thought of making a film, but Felix decided we needed one, and he set about making it.
I wasn’t much in favour of making the video, because it took up a lot of time, and let’s face it, I wasn’t media-savvy enough to see the point of it. We had been advised by one of our mentors that we were in danger of frittering away our energies in peripheral activities, all too easy to do when we had so many non-musical things to attend to. We were to remember our core mission: to become a world-class chamber group, known for our playing rather than primarily for our portable concert hall. I took the advice to heart and was in the mood to rehearse. Making the video felt like a distraction that summer.
But now, as well as being 23 minutes of deep nostalgia for those involved, it feels like a historical document. Felix is sadly no longer with us, but his family has put the Domus video on YouTube.