Desert tunes: Classical pianist plays in the wild

Oregon native Hunter Noack plays concerts like you've never seen

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- It's a concert like you've never seen -- Oregon native Hunter Noack has been mesmerizing audiences by playing classical music in the wild.

Noack recently performed in the Alvord Desert for people who drove from all corners of the West Coast.  

People lined up their cars on a 12 by 7 mile dry lake bed, sitting in the rain shadow of Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon.

"It gives people the space to be in a landscape," Noack said.

In between Noack playing Chopin, Debussy and Liszt, he invited Oregon's poet laureate, Kim Stafford and local poet Elizabeth Davis to read their work.

Everyone got wireless headphones so they could hear every single note and walk as far away as they wanted. 

"When I see people with headphones on, I feel closer to them than when I'm in a concert hall," Noack said. "Because it's like their ears are right inside the piano."

"I can whisper to everybody, even though they are three quarters of a mile in the lake bed, I know they can hear me," he said.  

His music takes you to a completely different state of being.

"It was like we were in a different world," Lisa Garcia said. "This is a different place and everybody should experience it at least once."

Garcia, who came from California for the concert, was invited by friends and had no idea what she was about to experience.

"This one's giving me goosebumps and making me cry," she said. "This is a gift and he has a gift and he shared it with me, and us. That's amazing."

People of all ages, from all walks of life, traveled great distances to witness a rare and unusual event in the middle of nowhere.

"One day I won't be able to be like this with him because there will be a million people here and I'll be in the back," Garcia said. 

Everyone there was united by the spellbinding power of classical music in the wild country of southeastern Oregon.

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