I’m sure you all miss me blogging about the usual highbrow fare here on Life’s a Pitch. (A quick scan down the December entry titles shows Girls straddling footballs sell things, In which I am pardoned for stealing electricity, and Flacks and the City. Why do you people read this??). But I think our very…special?…guests James, Jonathan, Matthew and Michael are doing a fantastic job. They may even be out-blogging their hostess, which, I should have clarified, is Not Actually Allowed.
If you’re just tuning in now, here’s what you missed. Imagine one of the Glee kids narrating this:
Jonathan explained how the idea for a virtual panel started and went on to say that great music is one of the most special things there is in this world. He suggested we stop wasting time arguing about whether old ways are good or new ways are good, and strive to make concerts as “vibrant, emotionally open, and musical” as possible without worrying so much about how we do it. Michael explained the pressures of wanting to book a musician with a high level of artistic merit and a unique point of view while considering real-world issues like fees, schedules and past box office performances. He continues that even the most “special” or in-vogue artist may not resonate with one presenter’s audience, so a certain responsibility lies with him or her to bring in artists who do. Perhaps “special” pressure lies not with the artist him or herself, but with the connection they can potentially make with a community. In his post, James looked at how artists’ conscious or unconscious decisions to be special–spend a year volunteering, write a book on Mozart, tour with a non-classical artist, come up with a wacky program–affects careers in the long-term and short-term. He explains his struggle as a manager to get his artists in front of the largest possible audience (over a season and over a career) while maintaining their artist integrity. Matthew suggested that audience members often bring their insecurities to concerts with them and ultimately “don’t seem to be comfortable with the relationship
between the music and them as an individual listener without some sort
of immediate validation of their judgment.” In contrast to James, he writes that artists (and, by association, managers, publicists and presenters) should seek out audiences who find what they’re doing already to be special rather than trying to prove something to potential new audiences.
And that’s what you missed, on Life’s a Pitch.