Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Listening and Baseball

Why do people go to baseball games: Aren't they all the same?

In my playing I aspire to the level of excitement that accompanies every gesture of the pitcher, every slight shift in the infield, every sign of excitement or disapproval from the bleachers.

Why don't people listen to music that way?  What have we lost?  Can we get it back?

A fine listener mentioned to me his impatience with concerts: After an hour he wants to go home and have the pleasure of playing himself.  This means to me that I am not adequately engaging him in the traction I feel between sounds--traction he may search on his own though it will never exactly match the traction I find.  And I never experience it twice the same way in the same piece.

I have tired of some fine performers' playing because I find their playing lacks this traction after years of mastering speed and agility.  There is nothing left to hold my attention (and, I suspect, their own) except for speed and agility.  Nothing is at stake; I know the score in advance, so why go?