Felix Wurman’s 1982 video about Domus

26th March 2021 | Books, Concerts, Inspirations, Travel | 2 comments

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But now, as well as being 23 minutes of deep nostalgia for those involved, it feels like a historical document.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.

2 Comments

  1. Stephen Dickinson

    I was so very pleased to see this video – I’m afraid my work came to an abrupt stand still when I heard it had been posted. It was lovely to see and hear some of the actual people who you have writen about in you book “Beond the Notes” – laughing, talking and playing instruments, sitting in the sun. It was also interresting to see how the Dome was erected and used and to hear Felix talk about its conception.

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  2. Mary Cohen

    I too had to stop what I was doing and watch this. The playing was mesmerising and so full of life! What an experience for those who ‘drifted in’ to hear you playing, perhaps hearing classical music for the first time. I persist in the idea that all children should be given the opportunity to listen to (and play) classical music. And that chamber music is the best form you can offer them for a lifelong experience. Thank you everyone from those Domus years for inspiring me and keeping me going with this thought. Recently a friend in her forties asked me to start her off on violin (online) because she had been so envious of watching her children grow up through my children’s chamber music project, having such fun playing together from the age of six. Her ambition? Not to pass exams but make simple chamber music with some friends.

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