Petra Strahovnik: Sense-S

3rd symphonic concert for babies and toddlers

Petra Strahovnik's Sense-S concludes the series of new symphonic works created especially for babies, toddlers, and vulnerable groups. As part of the B-AIR project, this Slovenian composer based in the Netherlands has created a new piece for the youngest audiences, which will be performed by the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Steven Loy in Studio 26 of Radio Slovenia. The space has been adapted for a relaxed and comfortable visit by babies, toddlers, their parents and companions.

Petra Strahovnik conceived the new piece as a subtle fusion of different styles appealing to the full range of human senses, and the performance as an inviting environment that dissolves the boundaries between performer and audience: “The listener becomes an active performer, and the musicians become active listeners. At birth, everything is new to us and the sense of awe and wonder is then a basic human reality. As we learn about the world we create all sorts of ‘compartments’ to classify how things work and what belongs where. All this knowledge and rationality dampen our sense of wonder, to a point where it is nearly lost in most adults. Stimulating childlike amazement in grown-ups seems like an unattainable goal, but all we have to do is observe babies, connect with them, and rediscover our inner child with all the potential for childlike experience.”

The three-part project Sense-S intertwines the central symphonic piece Sense with the overture and finale, where the orchestra is augmented by electronics and a performance by the magician Aljaž Šon. The artist has placed sound objects into the adapted concert hall, inviting the audience to participate with these words:

“Welcome to the enchanting world of music, imagination, magic! Here you will meet musicians, a conductor, even a magician; as well as spheres which are musical instruments, inviting you to co-create a piece of the music. I wish you all an enjoyable experience!” Petra, the composer.