Saturday, June 8, 2013

Live Listening: Does It Matter?

I recently put out a topic for discussion to an on-line group to which I subscribe:  Have recordings taken the place of live performance in determining our musical standards?  After more than a week no replies. 

Either that means that I am completely out-of-sync with my times, or that one of the two concepts has no relevancy.  Which?

Consider "live."  This is admittedly difficult as it assumes presence, mutual presence in the case of actually being in the same room together with another person who is making music.  But it doesn't need to be in an auditorium and the person making music does not need to be a professional.  It might be your child or your mother; your neighbor or your friend.

As for "listening," that is really the hard part as we have all probably lost the ability to listen free of the boundaries already set by the pre-heard, i.e., the recorded version.

What would happen to our music if the standard were set by seriousness of intent rather than by perfection of the surface?

I have heard far too much perfect playing that leaves me cold and have learned to be deeply moved by the imperfect playing of striving, yearning children.