Project LENS is a new performance collaborative that seeks to explore the connections between music and various topics in the world beyond. Our diverse studies and shared passion for classical music have inspired us to start a conversation about the ways in which music relates to topics as eclectic as evolution, 3D printing, humor, law, and birdsong. At each of our events, we illuminate a central topic by weaving together two threads: a TalkThread, a TED Talk style presentation; and a MusicThread spun of selections from the classical repertoire.
At Project LENS, classical music has been our shared passion ever since we were young. We’re also curious people who love to learn new things. As a result, none of us has ever managed to commit fully either to pursuing music or giving it up to study something else. When the time came at the end of high school for us to think about whether we wanted to go to college or conservatory, we all decided to pursue joint degrees in music and other fields. Even after we finished college, we still couldn’t decide what to do, and in a way, Project LENS was born out of this indecision. We like to think of it as productive indecision, though, because really, we’ve realized that being attuned to other disciplines and ways of thinking even as we pursue music has helped us discover some pretty cool connections between music and topics ranging from philosophy to art history to neurobiology. We want to share these unexpected and exciting relationships with you, and that’s why we founded LENS.
An Evening with Project LENS
Project LENS events are dynamic, featuring TED-style presentation and classical music intertwined so that these components bring out new ideas about each other. You can expect engaging topics, on-stage unscripted discussion, musical performances of the highest quality, fabulous slide shows, and connections between the music and the presentation that you never saw coming! All of our speakers are experts in their fields, and our musicians are outstanding. This stuff comes with every single LENS event.
But every Project LENS event features a totally different program, so there’s no such thing as a “typical” LENS experience. We’re interested in everything from symbolism to physics, the human brain to literature, and birds to computers. Our goal is to reflect the diversity of our interests in the diversity of our programs--and we hope you’ll join us!
The Art of Symbolism: Samuel Bak and Dmitri Shostakovich November 13 @ 6pm, The Pucker Gallery
Breaking Down the Beat: The Rhythm of Language November 19 @ 7pm, Le Laboratoire Cambridge
Evolve: From Cells to String Quartets December 3 @ 6pm, St. Botolph Club
In the Works
...a collaboration with Makerbot, a 3D printing company
...multiple events at venues in the greater Boston area
...performances at Harvard University
...integration into the curriculum of a Harvard course
"Really impressive, great concept. Love the idea of combining academic/intellectual talks with classical music. It's an idea that would appeal to a lot of different people I think."
"You are doing an amazing thing here!"
"Excellent and thought provoking."
"Accessible, beautifully thought through... nice flow."
Check us out …
...on the web at www.experiencelens.com
...on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProjectLENS
...on Twitter at @project_lens
...or email us at email@example.com
Where Your Money is Going
Our goal is to use the money we raise on Kickstarter to fund our 2014-2015 season. In addition to the 3 events on the books, we have many more in the works. We're aiming to average an event per month through May 2015. Since we want to generate as much interest as possible, our first few events will be free. By the end of the season, we'll start charging admission so that Project LENS can become a sustainable organization.
Musicians: Ariel, Rainer, and Alan all perform, but there’s not much repertoire for two cellos and violin! We need to bring in musicians to work with us for each event, and to ensure the quality of our performances, we want to bring in really amazing players.
Video & audio recording: We want to document all of our events so we can create videos that show people like you what we’re all about. We also hope to someday stream our events live on our website, and create podcasts.
Audiovisual equipment: PA systems, microphones, projectors...it’s all part of the multimedia experience!
Hall rentals: Performance spaces aren’t always free. To bring Project LENS to a variety of audiences, we will need to rent halls for some events.
Receptions: Don’t you love going to events with food? We do too, so help us make that happen! We also want you to have a fun environment in which to keep the conversation going after the event is over.
Advertising: We want to spread the word about LENS to get more people in on the conversation! But this isn’t always free either. We need your support to expand the LENS movement and pack our halls with interested, curious people!
You've borne with us all the way to the bottom of our Kickstarter...so here's a treat for you! Our speaker from our debut event, Andrew Berry, on his early experiences trying to learn the violin:
Risks and challenges
We've been extremely thorough as we've calculated our budget and planned our upcoming events, so we don't anticipate any problems. Of course, when you're trying to create a totally new type of event, there's always the risk that people won't like it--but the reception has been so positive so far that we're not concerned!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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