Playing music in the wild, classical pianist set to perform in Ashland

ASHLAND, Ore.– A classically trained pianist who grew up in Oregon is in Ashland this weekend preparing for his first show in several years in the Rogue Valley.

However, the venue isn’t your typical concert hall.

Hunter Noack, 30, is the pianist behind In A Landscape, a project that brings classical music out in the wild for people to come and enjoy. For the past four years, this show has been anything but ordinary.

“I was inspired by the WPA, the Works Progress Administration, which in the 1930s through their federal music and federal theatre projects presented thousands of free concerts in public lands,” he said.

Noack, who grew up in central Oregon, has performed this project all across the state. He strictly keeps to Oregon but has branched out to do several shows in Washington and California. Now he’s here to bring the experience to Mt. Ashland.

The project works with conservation groups as well as lumber companies that practice sustainability, allowing Noack the chance to model his own project after people who’ve been an inspiration in his life.

“People like John Muir and Stephen Mather and people that were involved with the stewardship of public lands,” said Noack.

With Noack’s own love for the outdoors, these landscapes provide a way to slow down and listen.

“I think the music gives people an excuse to just be in a place and not take a picture but look around and smell and feel if only for an hour, be in a place,” he said.

Using headsets that allow people to hear him play from a distance, Noack says this is about more than just the music.

“A lot of people just choose to sit and just watch me but I encourage people to get up and wander and explore each landscape.”

His hope is to add a new element to being outdoors and allow people to find appreciation with what we have in front of us.

“I feel like it’s less about performing for or to an audience,” he said. “It’s really more about us being aware and in this place together.”

The In A Landscape shows are scheduled for July 8 and 9 at 6 p.m. Both shows are sold out but you can enter a waiting list if you would like to try and attend.

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