Local musician brings classical music to the wild

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: LESLIE PUGMIRE HOLE - Noacks musical project was funded in part by a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council and supplemented by donations from supporters of the arts. Passersby near Stevens Pavilion in Hoyt Arboretum Thursday evening, noting the empty chairs at a musical performance inside, might have thought that the performers were not popular or the environment unpleasant — but they would be mistaken.

Music aficionados were there in force, but many were wandering under the tree boughs, enjoying the music through earphones as intended as part of Portland pianist Hunter Noack's "In a Landscape: Music in the Wild" project, a series of classical music performances in the outdoors, using the earphones to enhance the experience and mitigate potential environmental interference.

The series of performances, grant and donation funded, was inspired by the Depression-era Works Projects Administration, a stimulus work program that used as many artists as it did other trades.PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: LESLIE PUGMIRE HOLE - Wireless headphones, more typically used for silent discos were donated by Heartbeat Sound Systems and while not all  listeners used them, they helped mitigate ambiant noise.

"This is the spirit of Oregon, the Wild West, where nothing is impossible, where the wagons circle round and everyone gives what they can to build something greater than any one person," wrote Noack in his project statement.


For tickets and more information, go to

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: LESLIE PUGMIRE HOLE - Noack encourage listeners to leave their chairs and wander through the arboretum during the musical performance. The series launched Aug. 20 at the iconic Vista House on the Columbia Gorge, with guest performer China Forbes of Pink Martini. The Portland band was represented at Stevens Pavilion Thursday, as Noack's partner Thomas Lauderdale — Pink Martini's band leader and pianist — joined him in a piano duet by Schubert. Fellow Pink Martini artists and accomplished classical musicians in their own right, cellist Pansy Chang and violinist Nicholas Crosa, also joined Noack.

Four more performances remain in the series, which are free but tickets are required and donations requested. PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: LESLIE PUGMIRE HOLE - Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini joined Noack for a piano duet.

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