Arts & CultureCampus & CityCultural Affairs

Mindfulness meets music at ECMS’s first live show in two years

Honens Prize Laureate Nicolas Namoradze discussed being the Edmonton Chamber Music Society’s first live performer in two years and the power of intersecting music and mindfulness.

An accomplished pianist and composer, Honens Prize Laureate Nicolas Namoradze is also a certified mindfulness teacher and author of Ligeti’s Macroharmonies. So it was only fitting that the Edmonton Chamber Music Society (ECMS) (in partnership with Honens) would choose Namoradze to be ECMS’s first live performer in two years. The performance was held in-person with a simultaneously streamed virtual session.

“It means a lot to me to be able to take part in this revival of live music in Edmonton,” Namoradze said. “[The performance’s structure] is a new concept that I’ve come up with.” 

The performance on October 23 wore many hats. Namoradze interwove mindfulness discussions and exercises in between his piano renditions of Bach, Bowen, Busoni, Rachmaninoff, and his own work; morphing the performance from a standard recital into a lecture and a guided session that focused on how mindfulness affects our perception of music and our conscious and unconscious listening experience. 

The performance could not have come at a better time. If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us all, it’s that we need to be more reflective and mindful of the actions we take. Especially as the world is slowly reopening. This is something Namoradze is very conscious of as postgraduate student in neuropsychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London.

“It’s something that really excites me,” Namoradze exclaimed. “To bring together a standard recital and these various aspects of neuroscience, psychology, [and] the first person science perspective of mediation and mindfulness into one kind of framework and see how they interact.”

Namoradze views “a mindful perspective” as a vessel for how we can interact with both internal and external stimuli and that’s what he wanted to be the main takeaway of Saturday.

“I think that one of the best [ways] to actually develop and explore mindfulness is [by] listening to music,” Namoradze said. “When we become more mindful we become better listeners. Not only to people [but] to our environments [and] to the world.”

“The musical experience, the experience of listening to music, is much broader than it often might seem. I really want to help people explore the full spectrum of the experience using mindfulness as a tool and the guide. I think [it’s] really important to bring mindfulness to anything we do today.”

To stay posted on upcoming concerts present by ECMS, visit their website here. To keep up with Namoradze’s work, feel free to visit his website.

Iqmat Iyiola

Iqmat contributed to the Opinion coverage of the 2023 UASU elections. She is a third year biological sciences student. She can usually be found volunteering, bullet journaling, reading poetry, and scrolling a little bit too much on Instagram.

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