Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I love my life - running into George Crumb at a new music concert - the same day as meeting Gusty Thomas - all after hearing Perlman and Zukerman wail in a killer concert. This on the Sunday the week before heading back to Philly on Thursday to hear the world premiere of Paul Moravec's Youthful Knowledge in the afternoon and the east coast premiere of Jennifer Higdon's String Quartet with the Tokyo Quartet.
So, yes, I'm a bit FANatical about live classical music. Which is why I get annoyed by extraneous noise from other audience members. I'm crafting a plan, to keep "please be quiet" or "no talking during the music" signs to flash to these folks who can't keep quiet.

Let me draw a comparison and analogies to this "problem."

Imagine you are excited about a new film, and head out to your favorite cinema - you arrive early to get your popcorn, soda and grab the seats you want (in LA there are hi-tech swank places that you have an assigned seat - mondo posh and comfortable!) and make sure you get all the new trailers and these days, ads/previews of things to come. The lights dim, and your film begins...then A CELLPHONE RINGS. You are annoyed that someone has disrupted the film, maybe in a key point. Or what if, someone leaves for a restroom break - comes back - and then proceeds to ask and talk about what happened while they were gone, and you are still trying to enjoy the movie. Frustrated?

Another scenario...You are at your place of worship and arrive early, spending some time to reflect. The service starts, and someone comes in late, starts making gestures, and talking. Perhaps they have had a few too many, and yet, mouth off for a bit. What do you think about this? Does it bother you? Do you think they have a right to interrupt your thoughts and worship?

To me, and I'm only speaking for myself, music is the highest form of praise - and I mean that in a religious sense - the greatest worship of God, to me is through music. Now I do mean certain pieces and styles have a much more "religious" weight than others...and lots of music have no ties to the spiritual world. In fact I will go so far to say Beethoven's music is much more devout and religious than any pseudo christian pop tune that says "Jesus" in it. Again, this is just my view and feeling.
So when someone talks during a work, disrupts it, I believe they are being rude to the performer, the music and to other audience members. It's why I believe folks rent/buy dvds these days and download tunes for their I-Pod...there is no one to interrupt you, distract you or show their ignorance.
I will continue my trek of concert halls around the world, seeing and hearing new music, exciting performers and lush concert halls - I can't help myself - but I'm also going to promote the GOOD MANNERS and appropriate behavior that comes with that. I don't spend money for an experience to have it ruined by someone else - that doesn't come with the price of admission.

1 comment:

patty said...

I love reading about all your experiences! Wish I could do what you do, but I can't so oh well! I'll just read and be envious.

I had a friend tell me a story about a folk-style concert she was at. People were yakking so much in front of her she couldn't hear. She finally asked them if they could keep it down and one person said, "It's not like we're at a movie!" So I guess some think concerts are for talking.

Love your comments on music and worship. I try to make my playing a form of worship ... and I'm with you on the "Jesus" thing too (and I'm actually a Christian so it's not like I don't believe in him).

Best to you ... keep taking us to concerts! :-)