Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Live and, Again, Live

If I had it my way the power of the media would have been concentrated on making the intimate experience of music and drama accessible to more and more people.  Naturally, nobody consulted me on the subject, though I recall some rare moments in the early days of television when live events were televised in such a way that I, the distant viewer, had the feeling I had been let in on some wondrous event.

Now it seems that at least radio is finally catching on, at least on WQXR in New York (available on-line at www.wqxr.org) where increasingly one hears broadcasts of live performances, some of them available as commercial recordings.  These are far and away my favorite listening experiences.

I test this by tuning in at random, not knowing what I am hearing, seeing if I can detect the qualities that set live performance apart from the perfection-driven studio product.

Now why can't we work at getting the recording model to follow suit with more and more recordings of live performances?  Mine are all live, made on my piano, in my home, before an audience of friends--the best, perhaps the "only" way to play.