Accordionists’ Meeting of Fellow Pupils

Antiquity, antibiotics, antivirus… A year and a half ago, I’ve added “Antiperformance” to my word stock, and it served me right.
Browsing the net in search of someone who would tell me what to do with that mysterious buttoned-and-bellowed thing, I stumbled upon the name of Jindra Kelíšek. That looks well enough, I thought, looking at the webpage… Wait, what? Performances? You mean playing to some strangers? Me? No way, ugh, thanks. _MG_0776However, fate had it that I began my lessons with Jindra after all, and thus the ominous question arose one day: “What shall we prepare for the antiperformance?” I persevered in my refusal: never, nothing for me, I like playing just for fun and for myself only, I’m no real musician and can’t play anything, they’ll laugh at me and… I daresay that such ideas come to the minds of most of us – beginners who’ve recently started learning how to play the accordion (or any other instrument, of course). Yet here comes the point: my first meeting with other “pupils” was a great experience in the end. I even declined the privilege not to play anything at my first antiperformance. Yes, I did tremble with horror, I couldn’t wait for it to be over, I did make a few mistakes and sang too quietly (and out of tune, but nobody heard that) – but after that came the applause and big relief and high spirits. I gladly listened to others (How come do they play so well?) and enjoyed the singing and playing afterwards with the more “seasoned” accordionists.

An antiperformance is:

  • a gathering of accordionists, where everyone plays to the others one or two of their favourite songs
  • an opportunity to get to know with more beginners and motivate each other
  • a chance to try playing in front of an “as if” audience and enjoy an applause
  • a performance where the most important thing is courage and the mistakes don’t matter
  • open to other instruments and groupings of all sorts, not just accordions
  • a special event for the pupils of our Accordion School, but supporters are welcome as well after prior arangement

It takes place twice a year, always in June and January. Groups of musicians are welcome! Beginners attending for the first time are granted an exception – they don’t have to perform and can just get to know the others and probe the whereabouts.

Some people play alone, other have someone to accompany them, performing is a piece of cake for one and a test for another, everyone has their musical styles and tastes, sometimes even their own compositions, but the most important thing is that we all go home encouraged and with recharged batteries – all in all, this is probably the reason why our numbers are still growing, so that we have to move to another (bigger) place, the pub was crammed last year (try to find your instrument in a heap!) Come and try it, too, we’ll certainly give you applause!

article by | Háta Kreisinger Komňacká
photos by | Jiřina Černíková
published on 20/05/2014