Music

Live music & cool tunes returning to airports

Live music and cool recorded playlists have always been on the top of our list of airport amenities we love. And during the pandemic, live music was one of the amenities airports had to discontinue.

But it looks like many of the live music programs at airports are coming back.

And: Airport Spotify Playlists

We were in the McCarran Airport this week for a few hours and enjoyed hearing many of these songs from their “Voice of Vegas” Spotify playlist.

An opera about being stuck at the airport filmed at Seattle’s Museum of Flight

Like so many arts and cultural organizations, the Seattle Opera has gotten pretty darn creative with finding ways to bring its productions to the people.

The newest production is a great example of that and will be of interest to opera fans and avgeeks alike.

Courtesy Seattle Opera

For the 2020/2021 season, the Seattle Opera was planning to present a performance of “Flight.” The three-act opera was written in 1998 by composer Jonathan Dove and librettist April De Angelis and has been performed around the world.

Here’s the story of the opera:

An omniscient air traffic controller watches over a departure lounge bustling with relentlessly cheerful flight attendants, an excitable couple on vacation, a mysterious older woman, and a diplomat and his expectant wife, all of whom must spend the night to wait out a storm. At the heart of the show is the Refugee, a character inspired by Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who lived in Charles de Gaulle Airport near Paris for almost 18 years.”

The pandemic means that the Seattle Opera can’t perform the show live. But rather than pass on the opportunity to present it, the Seattle Opera teamed up with Seattle’s Museum of Flight and filmed the opera there.

Brilliant, right?

The live stream of the Flight runs April 23-25. And tickets are just $35.

Below you’ll find a trailer for the opera and a pre-flight/pre-show talk full of tidbits on how the project came to be.

There’s also a fun interview with Museum of Flight curator Matthew Burchette sharing some of his favorite aircraft in the museum and talking about the control tower exhibit, which plays a role in the opera.

Enjoy!

Stuck at the Airport: SEA shares music. AUS presents podcasts.

Music Wall at SEA Airport

In a ‘normal’ year, we’d be going to airports all the time. And in many of those airports, there would be local musicians playing for us while we wait for our flights.

The pandemic means that in most airports, live music isn’t happening. And it also means the musicians who would have been playing at airports have lost those gigs. And the income from those gigs.

Pre-pandemic, for example, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) was programming live music 7 days a week in multiple places in the terminal. In 2020 and 2021, the schedule was being expanded, with more stages and more music.

While we wait for that programming to come back, SEA is doing what it can for the musicians. And for passengers who miss the music.

The airport has just installed a new 12X7-foot, high-resolution digital LED music wall on Concourse C that is showing a two-hour program highlighting more than 30 musicians who played at the airport before the pandemic.

Enjoy it here or in the airport. And tip the musicians if you can.

Podcasts from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Fans of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) will want to start downloading and listening to the airport’s podcast series, The Austin Approach, which gives listeners “a look into all things AUS.”

Episodes will drop twice a month and feature interviews with airport staff, news and updates from around the airport, and insider stories about airport life.  The episodes are on the AUS website and available to stream on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts and PodBean.

One-on-one concerts at Stuttgart Airport

Even though few people are hanging out in airports right now, airports are still doing their part to be part of the cultural community.

A perfect example: Germany’s Stuttgart Airport (STR).

This week the airport is hosting several one-on-one concerts in an empty terminal.

On May 8 and 10 single musicians will perform personal concerts for single listeners who will be each be seated at a safe distance.

The idea takes inspiration from artist Marina Abramović’s performance “The Artist Is Present.” The concept is to provide a personal musical experience despite the restrictions being caused by the corona pandemic.

Stuttgart Airport is just one of the sites for the one-on-one concert project, which is the creation of the Stuttgart State Opera and the SWR Symphony Orchestra.

To attend one of the concerts in town, potential audience members apply for a slot. Then, musicians and lucky audience members are paired randomly.

Ten tickets for the concerts in the empty terminal are being offered via a contest on the airport’s website.

The musicians are performing for free, however donations are permitted.

Great idea, right?