Norman Lebrecht on shifting sound worlds
That’s the route that the Oregon Symphony is trying out. We’ll be interested to know if it works. More here.
Can’t something, somewhere be “tech free?” Must we continue to be assaulted by people who do not know boundaries? The madness of people walking around–driving even–w/phones glued to their ears & who feel compelled to text/phone/photograph anything, everything, everywhere could not have been in Stephen King’s worst nightmare. Free or not, we need respite from people’s electronic toys.
You pay to listen actively.. Those who wish to tinker with electronics can listen at home
Even if all the tweeters and photographers were completely silent in their operations, the visual distraction would be unbearable for me, and would rather defeat the point of going to a live concert, since it would inhibit me from becoming immersed in the music.
Oregon Symphony is one of those orchestras that is willing to think outside the box, and what a great idea that they took suddenly available time from their schedule to think about community engagement. Come on, guys, lighten up a bit. Classical audiences need to be developed in a music marketplace that is now wider and more diverse than ever.
The really shocking part is that the audience will be permitted to applaud whenever they feel like. Madness!
Bad but better than squawking infants.
“Distant and unapproachable, they perform behind an invisible barrier that prevents audiences from getting to know them.”
Don’t any of these people go to movies? There’s an invisible barrier for you, and cellphones are turned off by the audiences without the normal pre-concert warnings and without a murmur. So they CAN sit still for a couple of hours and take something delivered by people they will never get to know — MUCH more chance of being behind the local cellist ina grocery line-up than behind Daniel Craig or Angelina.
I have no objection to the Oregon musicians issuing forth and spreading their bread upon the waters — good idea. And in some of those venues they would be in no position to prevent tweeting, etc. But it is not going to address the basic problem — that all too many people, particularly young people, ar enot prepared to pay to hear classical music played in a venue where sitting still and listening are required for a couple of hours (usually broken by an interval). They are not required to pay attention in a classroom, where they sit with their eyes lowered to their incoming texts rather than to the blackboard and the person in front of it. So where do they learn the pattern?
No surprise at the report since maestro Calamari is an egoist of the highest order. Every little move is calculated to perpetuate the phony persona of some significance when in all actually behind it, is an pathetic empty little man.
Unfortunately, this is the direction we have headed. Allowing this to happen could possibly help. The more people communicate about a group the more interest it will generate. Although I feel the same way and would rather not see this happen, if it helps ticket sales – I’ll just swallow hard.
You need to look at the kind of concerts the Oregon Symphony are talking about here. They appear to be held with small groups of musicians in “informal” type venues – not your regular symphony orchestra event. In these circumstances it would seem quite a reasonable project to try out. If it is free I really don’t see the harm at all in this approach.
This may be a shock for the normal member of a classical orchestral concert audience. However, there are those who are completely unaware of the etiquette associated to going to these events, but actually like the sound of the music. These people who are very nice, find the ‘normal goer’ rather elitist and are a bit fed-up of being leered at.
Now if this experiment brings a new audience to Classical Music, then all well and good. Provided, the cameras don’t flash ( this can cause problems with epilepsy) and the phones are on silent, all well and good. If it isn’t your thing, then stay away.
On behalf of classical musicians feeling the pinch, then anything that puts bottoms on seats and pays the bills is a welcome idea. Your money is always welcome, and so is the money of the people who choose to tweet, take photographs and applaud after every movement. (Whom are almost certainly the people that many of us also collect money from in the form of instrumental lessons, or are the friends of the people that we teach).
It takes all sorts to make a world.
Author, novelist, broadcaster, cultural commentator.
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