I’m all for Tweeting and spreading the word, but not during performances. Between pieces, maybe, if you can stop when the music starts up again; while standing in line for the restroom, definitely; at intermission or on the train afterwards, definitely. The problem is that acoustic performers rely on the audience’s attention and focus and can tell when the audience isn’t mentally present. Your listening is part of our interpretive process. If you’re not really listening, we’re not getting the feedback of energy from the hall, and then we might as well be practicing for a bunch of people peering in the window. It’s just not as interesting when the cycle of interpretation is broken.

-Hilary Hahn

Please read the blog entry that includes these words from Hilary Hahn. You will note, too, that David Lang doesn’t agree with her.

I know that many will disagree, and I’ve recently read a lot of tweets from people while they are at a concert. It does sometimes depend upon the type of concert, but really, when I’m working incredibly hard trying to move you I’m a bit dismayed to know that what we are doing on stage isn’t really the focus after all. It feels weird. Maybe I’m too sensitive. Maybe I’m too self-centered too. Dunno!

But tell ya what … when I’m performing I won’t blog or tweet or even read a magazine or book if you won’t. Deal?

3 Comments

  1. In this age of instant messenging, I think that it can go TOO far.

    I believe that performances were designed to entertain IN THE MOMENT, requiring the audience’s full attention. “Tweeting” is not in the spirit of this spontaneous interaction between performer and listener (or observer).

    Yes, by all means “tweet” after the performance is over. Or perhaps if one is particularly addicted to instant communication, during intermission. But not DURING a performance.

    I see no value in this activity. If someone can prove me wrong, great!

  2. When I was in NYC a week ago, I tweeted intermission reports of each of the shows I saw (of course, you probably saw them at the time). I did it to amuse myself, and may do it again. But during a show, concert, whatever, it’s totally unacceptable.

  3. & I loved the during intermission tweets, Mike! I think it’s a great idea, actually.

    During? I just don’t get it! When I’m entranced by something I certainly don’t want to tweet. (I DO tweet at ball games, and I can tell some folks don’t even like that!)