San Diego

Reinventing the Symphony With Luscious Noise

John Stubbs brings Luscious Noise to untraditional venues

John Stubbs, conductor and founder of San Diego’s Luscious Noise, doesn’t want to intimidate you with his music.

Stubbs realizes classical music, to some people, has the connotation of being pretentious. Going to a symphony may sound intimidating, especially if you prefer the Casbah and Whistle Stop over the symphony hall.

I spoke with Stubbs over the phone about taking classical music to untraditional places like libraries, coffee shops and dive bars.

“It’s my way of doing outreach but also mixing it up and not just being this stuffy sit-down concert,” said Stubbs. “Having multimedia stuff and showing classic films, doing a little classical music -- music that I think is important, and music that I think will draw people in. I don't necessarily go for any particular genre in classical. I'm not all contemporary or all classical, it’s just whatever I think is going to be hitting someone the right way.”

Stubbs brought symphony musicians into the former Anthology (what is now the Music Box) eight years ago. His goal was to bring in people who wouldn’t typically go to a symphony show. Luscious Noise played 19 shows at Little Italy’s three-story venue before its ultimate demise.

“I had to start looking around for other venues, so I started doing stuff at the Whistle Stop, still trying to take music to the people,” he said.

What is next in line for Luscious Noise is a new phone app that helps translate vocals from live music (I am sure most of us have been to a show where you have no idea what the singer is saying). But Stubbs is keeping the details of his app a secret -- for now.

“Well, I had to come up with an idea to be able to give a translation as to what was being sung. So, a friend of mine happens to have the skills of making apps -- so we have an app design. I could tell you more about it later, but at the moment, it looks like we’re going to be shooting for about a month from now to have a little introduction to this with a concert at Rebecca’s Coffee House.”

Stubbs is still looking for new venues to take his music. If you have any suggestions for him, contact Luscious Noise through Facebook.

Musician, people-pleaser, lover, fighter and writer Matthew Craig Burke has been spewing musical words of wisdom since never. He lives off of peanut butter sandwiches, beer and Beck Hansen. Follow his updates on Facebook or contact him directly.

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