Sunday, September 2, 2012

Perforrnance and the Interpersonal

It strikes me that listening primarily to recorded music is like playing ping pong with a dead ball.  Currently in the midst of a series of intimate in-house recitals, I am stunned at how the attention of a close-up audience  affects every detail of performance. 

There is a collusion at work here: Performers are getting accustomed to playing a certain way regardless of who is listening just as listeners are getting used to feeling superfluous.

The other day I was in an intimate performance situation in which someone seated second row center was energetically sketching, paying not the slightest attention to what was happening not five feet away, and certainly unaware that the performers were super-aware of her incredibly distracting activity.