Listening to music on a DVD, TV or online is different from sharing it in a concert hall, given. It is also different depending on who you’re sharing it with and where.
Often people don’t want to get all formally dressed and attend a live concert in a formal concert hall, especially if it’s attended by people in an age group with whom one has little in common. It’s not very relaxing for some people. I don’t often think of it like that because I enjoy getting dressed up and going to a great sound venue and architecturally beautiful place. That’s not the way many want to hear it.
Here’s what Amanda Ameer had to say:
“On Wednesday night, I went to the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s LA Phil LIVE rebroadcast of Gustavo Dudamel conducting Mahler 8 from Caracas. Now in its second year, LA Phil LIVE features three concerts in movie theaters during the 11-12 season, seen in 450 theaters in the US and Canada. My friends and I went to Union Square, and as we chomped on popcorn, and slurped down Diet Coke, I thought unfondly of the hag glaring at my sister as she quietly unwrapped a cough drop at Avery Fisher earlier in the week.”*
The picture this created in my mind clarified many things for me. Among them were the answers to why so many don’t attend and support classical performances. We do want to share these experiences, and that is why we listen to them in our cars, in our homes and go to them occasionally, BUT, and this is a big one for many: we don’t go to be seen or judged by others. The movie theater is a great venue for all of us because it is dark, we can wear our “grubbies”, and we can hang out with our buddies.
If I want to relax, that is exactly how I feel. Music, most music, is written for a mass audience and we want to chomp on our popcorn, slurp if we must and hang out. It’s why I go to the Conservatory to hear the up and coming artists play (also many of the concerts are graduate recitals and they are free to the public). We don’t chomp too much as these are sound venues, but we can wear casual clothes and go at odd times to a comfortable place. Learning to play almost any style of music can be amazing if you visualize your audience leaning back and enjoying what you do.
* “Life’s a Pitch” for Arts Journal online (http://www.artsjournal.com/lifesapitch/2012/03/live-from/)
Susan Hirtz is an writer and researcher in the fine arts, a former teacher and consultant working with fine arts groups. She has an MA in Educational Psychology, from the University of San Francisco and BA from CSULA in American Studies/Humanities.all rights reserved @ Susan Hirtz 2012