We're the Linden Project
We’re bringing art song to new audiences in Hamilton.
Enjoy the core of the art song canon (think Schubert, Fauré, Vaughan Williams) complemented by the odd cabaret song, jazz standard, or even (ahem) pop song.
Our Modus Operandi
What can you expect at a Linden Project concert?
While you will still see us in your local church sanctuary or recital hall, we are also bringing the song recital to some more unexpected places. So you may find us in an art gallery, living room, pub, or outdoors.
Projected translations and imagery
One of the best things about the art song repertoire is the tight correlation between the music and the text. When song is at its very best, every note, chord, and articulation illustrates the meaning of the text and even brings an extra layer of meaning to the poetry.
But many of the greatest songs ever composed are in languages other than English.
To address this many programs include English translations of the poetry. But if you’re closely following the text, you end up with your nose in a program —not watching the performers on stage.
Our concerts feature carefully-condensed projected translations that present the core of the song. Paired with carefully selected images, you’ll get the flavour of the song quickly and intuitively without having to read a novel.
But don’t worry: if you love to read, you’ll also have access to the full texts in the program so you don’t ever have to look at us.
Songs by living composers
Art song is a living tradition and songs are being written all the time by talented composers, so you can expect to hear some new works every season.
What is Art Song?
Well, the “song” part is easy. A piece of music for solo voice, usually with accompaniment.
But why artsong?
The term art song usually refers to a classical composition for solo voice, most often accompanied by piano, and not part of a concert work (like Handel’s Messiah) or an opera.
Before the 19th century, the category of “art song” didn’t really exist. Songs were songs. But in the early 19th century, songs (or Lieder in German) that were written for amateurs to sing in their drawing rooms for their own pleasure and entertainment began to take on a new significance in the hands of composers like Franz Schubert. Later composers took his lead and the solo song became an important art form across Europe. As they increased in complexity and put increasing demands on the performers, they became the province of professional singers and pianists.
At the heart of the idea of art song is the close link between the text and the music. Both the vocal line and the piano accompaniment work together to bring the meaning of the text to life.
While it can come off as a bit snobbish, the term is also useful to distinguish art song from other kinds of song, like folk songs or pop songs, which are usually a bit more straightforward in their construction.
Of course, like every musical category or genre, the edges are fuzzy, so there’s plenty of overlap with other genres. We’re embracing that fuzziness by performing many of the songs that are firmly in that category, but also pushing the boundaries of what’s typically heard in a song recital.
What’s with the tree?
The name, The Linden Project, was inspired by Schubert’s song “Der Lindenbaum” (The Linden Tree). As a composer of some 600 lieder, Schubert is a hugely important figure in the world of art song, so it made sense to link our project with his works.
The Linden or Lime-tree has symbolic resonance in many cultures. In German lore, the linden tree was a place to gather as a community to celebrate, and also to administer justice. So the Linden became a symbol of truth; it is our hope that the ideas and themes – the truth – explored in the art song genre will touch our audiences.