Monday, July 09, 2007

thoughts from a concert

preconcert

Does TA know everyone in this town?

Audience demographics: about 3-to-1 male-to-female, fairly broad age range (possibly not many below their twenties, however), predominantly white (although I’ve seen worse).

support act

That’s a strange choice for a support band.
Do large (very much formal) venues have separate committees for the A and B acts? Do these committees program their acts largely independently, and then try and match the acts as best as possible?
I enjoyed performances by this band in the past, but I’ve brought the wrong set of ears tonight.

MLM’s comment: “I’d hate to be in their shoes.”

Oh god. I hope those balloons weren’t meant as a homage.

main performance

I am so glad I could witness this. [Warning: upcoming tasteless comment] I am in the presence of giants.
Interesting tactics: elements that ‘sound’ serendipitous are actually prepared, each musician picking-up on, and capitalizing on, cues from the other, (retroactively) making it sound like their individual gestures are internally consistent while ‘magically’ matching each other’s.
I know a lot of their moves. Not enough for it to be useful if I were (heaven forbid) on stage with them, and certainly not in the way they can (ir)rationally respond and anticipate each other, but, nonetheless, I know a lot of their moves.
I wish my students were here.

Wow.
Wow! That was cool!

They’re using a tape…?
Is that a tape part…?
…no…?
…that’s the clarinet?!?
Oh. My. God. If you can do that with a clarinet, why would anyone want to (or be compelled to) use a laptop?
I am in the presence of giants. [Apologies for that second tasteless outburst.]
I am lost in the moment.
Questions: does being in the position of having played with the two nominal ‘leaders’ (with formidable egos) put you in the position of negotiator / mediator? Does that position endow you with privileges / powers / controls / responsibilities—look one way, one possible ensemble; look the other, another?
Power flows though the negotiator. MLM: “But he’s hardly playing anything.”
This is dense: compelling, complex, and flying dangerously and dramatically close to the moosh.
I see logic in the choice of reeds. During this dense moment, a sopranino will hover far, far above the rest of the ensemble’s sound space, out of everyone’s way.
How the hell do you break out of this noise? What could possibly put the breaks on this system without creating an anti-climax?
That’s how.
A ‘false’ ending, and / but a little tactical flourish to put the breaks down. (And—feels almost magical—the audience conspires on this ending.)

Man, it doesn’t get much better than this.

final comments

MLM: “So many people walked out.”

I recall AF (a fine sound engineer for this and related genera of musics) critiquing engineers who mix with the expectation of a foreground (solo) and a background (accompaniment). Same problem dogged some of the earlier moments of this performance. Flatten the levels and let the audience do the mixing.

2 comments:

Good Times said...

This was fun to read.

Perhaps a "form" (not entirely unlike yours here) could be devised and sent out via PDF to all of 'us' in this 'thing' to be filled out after performances.

What would the data show?

How many people were at this show?

Is "TA" a super celebrity or 'just some dude?'

Can you divulge the geographic location of this happening?

I hate balloons.

the improvising guitarist said...

Perhaps a "form"… could be devised and sent out via PDF to all of 'us' in this 'thing' to be filled out after performances.

Or perhaps ‘we’ should hand out such forms for an audience when we find ourselves on stage.

What would the data show?

A fellow traveller? A helpful soul? A cry for help? A window into a disturbed psyche? What do audience feedback cards (the ones used by the motion picture industry) reveal?

How many people were at this show?

Large for this music (a few hundred).

Is "TA" a super celebrity or 'just some dude?'

Ha ha. TA is somewhere in between. Maybe ‘up-and-coming young gun’ would be how the press might describe the musician. TA wasn’t there as a performer though, but as a member of the audience.

Can you divulge the geographic location of this happening?

I’ll give you a couple of cryptic clues that might help.

A. Balloons may have been an homage to ‘Composition 25’.
B. Who flies close to the moosh?

I’m glad you found my ‘report’ fun to read, sjz, and thanks for writing in.

tig