Sunday, August 15, 2010

Go out to Concert or Stay at Home?

When was the last time you went out to a concert?

Perhaps you're like me, counting your pennies and thinking you can't afford such a luxury, that you need to save for your own music gig. Musician, tell yourself, "I can't afford to isolate myself." I was reminded of this today, and of the glory of music collaboration for those who make the music and for those who listen to them make it. In live concert.

Levin Brass Band presented an hour's program featuring brass superstar Riki McDonnell from Auckland. The most successful brass musician in New Zealand's history brought his sweet and bright euphonium sounds to our little town for an afternoon, and what a treat.

Imagine sitting fourth row back on the centre aisle, nothing obscuring your view of the band and soloists except their own brass instruments. You applaud to welcome the white-jacketed conductor, and settle into your pew for an auditory feast. Feel those organ-like vibrations from the big horns travel through the wooden floor, enter the fabric of the pew, and tingle up your spine. Hear the blending and separation and blending again of 30 instruments working as a team, building story and theme and emotion, climax and descent and close.

Recording studio productions may be tweaked to perfection, but there's nothing like a live concert. I'm a better musician because I soak up someone else's skill and creativity. I'm a better human being because I join others in appreciation of something beautiful.

And I discovered a song I want to sing. Here's the closest YouTube has to what I heard. I don't know if the Koreans are using the same arrangement -- it sounds different, but this band doesn't have the advantage of the wonderful Dannevirke St. Johns acoustics, do they? ; )

I'm dreaming of a vocalise duet with brass band backing...ooh, sends a thrill of delight up my spine.

Who were the two ladies in the audience having a chat while the rest of us tried to focus on New Zealand's 2010 Champion of Champions doing things to a hunk of tin like I've never heard before? He called it "Harlequin." I call them rude.

You wouldn't do that to a musician, would you? Or his audience? No, of course not. You don't want to be the most hated individual in the concert hall!

Music-makers need audience. We the audience need music-makers. We all want an harmonious collaboration. They do the work perfecting their craft, we get out of the house to enjoy them, to be there 100%. They benefit, and so do we!
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