Magazine article International Musician

Renaissance Man Looks to the Past for Inspiration

Magazine article International Musician

Renaissance Man Looks to the Past for Inspiration

Article excerpt

Wayne Hankin of Local 802 (New York City) has made a name for himself playing and composing for preclassical woodwind instruments. His fascination with Renaissance music began after his high school teachers introduced him to it. "I heard all of these fantastic colors. I had never been so attracted to something musically. I wanted to have those instruments," Hankin says.

That passion grew and he now plays more than 400 instruments from the Renaissance and medieval periods. Though he says, modestly, that he can only play about 80 of them "on a very high professional level," he's performed on them in concerts all over the world.

However, today he is on a new mission. "We have to save music as we know it," he says. He is currently in Hollywood, California, working on projects to redefine and bring music back, not only in the classroom, but to the community and the family.

To Hankin, it is essential that the public cares about the decline in live music performances, which he thinks are suffering because of the public's general lack of understanding of music today.

"Most orchestras are playing it safe, trying not to alienate anyone," Hankin says. Since the public doesn't have a developed understanding of music, orchestras stick to playing only the classics that the audience will recognize, rather than anything new. Talented musicians suffer as a result of this," he explains.

Along with this, musicians are relying on technology to make artificial music, which is taking away from the deep culture music once enjoyed. …

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