AJ Logo an ARTSJOURNAL weblog | ArtsJournal Home | AJ Blog Central

« Some Questions | Main | The Talking Cure »

June 18, 2007

The answer (or at least AN answer) to "Is Retro good?"

by Andrew Berryhill


Is Retro good? Sure. Retro is good, but so is good lighting and reasonably well-scrubbed musicians. And if you care to compare what we do to the Disney experience, which is nothing if not well lit and well scrubbed, Disney knows as good as anyone how to get people in the door for an experience. Further it is an experience priced even higher than our own.

But it isn't Retro that Disney does it with. Space Mountain, EPCOT, and (dating myself) the original E ticket submarine ride. I would argue that it isn't Retro that brings people to Disney, but wonderful experience they have while therein Orlando, Anaheim, Paris, or Tokyo.

That Mahler symphony you played last week is in some ways as Retro as anything above, but unlike the Disney experience has the chance for the audience to also be something artistically new. We've got a harder job to do than Disney, but our potential rewards are greater.

That hippo on the jungle cruise always jumps out of the water at the same place. And while we've got Mahler's directions (which are as specific as Uncle Walt's) when we create that Mahler symphony new every night, we can create a new artistic and emotional experience for ourselves and the audience. My job as an orchestra administrator is to do all that I can to get everyone in the door, and prepare them once they're there, to experience Mahler's world.

So I'd say it isn't about Retro, but the experience of where the Retro, or the new, can take us.

Posted by aberryhill at June 18, 2007 7:06 AM


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)

Tell A Friend

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):