21. March 2006 · Comments Off on Not All Musicians Are Alike · Categories: imported, Ramble

Terminal Degree responded to my comments about listening to Yo-Yo Ma, and I responded to her. I must say I’ve never worked with a more gracious person—and his joy in his music making is a delight. He reminds me of what music can do for and to us!

Then I read Michael Kaulkin’s current blog about attending a recent pianist’s concert. I’m not sure joy would be that artist’s middle name, from what Mr. Kaulkin writes. His blog then took me to this. Yikes. I hope this is all an exaggeration.

And yeah, sometimes the situation at a hall can be annoying. Sometimes the fans are loud. Sometimes we have to deal with noises and smells and temperature problems. But when an audience has paid top dollar to attend, I have a feeling canceling wouldn’t exactly cause them to go out and buy any more recordings of an artist’s works, and it certainly doesn’t help the biz. I realize I’m no star, nor will I ever be, but there have been times I’ve had to suck it up, along with my colleagues. I’ve played in ice cold conditions and I’ve played in 112 degree weather. I’ve played when there’s been fan noise and I’ve played in mildew-filled halls.

Of course if solo artists out there decide to lecture audiences (many of whom are fairly devout fans, I suspect) and make the experience as unpleasant as that particular concert mentioned above sounded, I suppose Terry Teachout’s prediction will come true sooner rather than later. Audiences aren’t the only ones who can be annoying. And those (sometimes annoying) audiences are paying a hefty amount to hear someone who then turns around and makes them feel bad. Not a smart idea. At least in my opinion.

But I do think that the concert experience can’t be reproduced in one’s home. (I can guarantee you won’t be lectured by the performers … nor will you get to see the joy on Yo-Yo Ma’s face as he plays.) I’m pleased to see that Robert Gable agrees.

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