CJguitar wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:10 am
Karen wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:36 am
Playing for an appreciative audience is always considered the pinnacle of why we play music but I think there is another side to it which is really more important. My hero has always been my husband’s uncle. He built a soundproof room for his Grand piano and, although I was told he was a concert level pianist, he refused to play for anyone. He is now in his nineties, living in assisted living, and has an electric piano in his room. The point is, he always played for himself and for years has been strong enough to not be forced into performing when he doesn’t want to. Playing music well is a very focused task and I think for some people that is enough. Sort of like yoga, a meditation-like activity that doesn’t really need an audience (does anyone watch yoga?) That’s not to say performing isn’t a wonderful option for many - but not for everyone.
I can sympathize with this. Every time I want to play or practice, I close the door to my room. I used to practice or fiddle with the family piano in our living room quite often, but I can't do it anymore; I just don't want anyone to hear me.
I had a situation at UNCSA where I was sight reading in my dorm room. I heard banging from the neighbor above and didn't know what it mean't. Next thing I knew, I heard a knock on my door and it was the resident upstairs. She said she could hear me and asked me to stop because she was trying to sleep. I knew I was in the wrong in that situation but I took it very personally.
I've recently bought an Aria Sinfonia silent classical guitar just to prevent that situation from ever happening again.
From wikipedia about Glenn Gould (regarding performing)
On April 10, 1964, Gould gave his last public performance, playing in Los Angeles, at the Wilshire Ebell Theater. Among the pieces he performed that night were Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 30, selections from Bach's The Art of Fugue, and Paul Hindemith's Piano Sonata No. 3.[fn 11] Gould performed fewer than 200 concerts over the course of his career, of which fewer than 40 were overseas. For pianists such as Van Cliburn, 200 concerts would have amounted to about two years' touring.
One of Gould's reasons for abandoning live performance was his aesthetic preference for the recording studio, where, in his words, he developed a "love affair with the microphone".[fn 12] There, he could control every aspect of the final musical "product" by selecting parts of various takes. He felt that he could realize a musical score more fully this way. Thus, the act of musical composition, to Gould, did not entirely end with the original score. The performer had to make creative choices. Gould felt strongly that there was little point in re-recording centuries-old pieces if the performer had no new perspective to bring to the work. For the rest of his life, Gould eschewed live performance, focusing instead on recording, writing, and broadcasting.
So is performing really a "pinnacle"?
Just a moment for a very limited audience...when sound could be not perfect, audience will cough, maybe talk on phone, make noises etc....
Why is it pinnacle - recording will live by itself, people will come again and again to it, they will hear new things when they will listen it another time... audio could be available at home, in quiet night, or in train, car, work, mountains anywhere...!
One could listen it alone, completely cutting himself from nonsense of concert halls, noises coughing, strange looks etc. etc. - musician do not need to worry that hall is cold! fingers freezing... or ... heat and humidity in other places, there instrument want to get out of tune, your fingers stick to fretboard...etc etc.
Why performance for public is pinnacle? What to do to the artist who are sick for time of performance? It is hard for him to play - yet.. do audience care about it? if he has a trauma? cut finger etc. - anybody cares? - NO NO NO !!! Audience just expect him to be perfect ... to present effortless and smooth and brilliant technique!
regardless his sickness, condition, trauma, emotional state at the moment, age, etc. etc.
NO! pinnacle, the best, what we could do - is probably to do recording! (exactly as Glenn Gould stated) and to do it not just at certain time when we could be sick etc. (as we have too if we have rigid concert schedule),
not to do it (program) as planned for years before performance etc etc.
But to remain free! Record whatever you feel at the moment, your own, or by other composer! Record ONLY at the MOMENT OF INSPIRATION ! not when you have to because it is a concert or you paid for studio...
But just when you feel that YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY BY MUSIC!
Sometimes miraculously all these things come together and performer play concert inspired by music and audience reflect inspiration back...
But often... performance could be just another ritual....
Ritual which looks nice, but ... just meaningless and boring show of emptiness...
P.S. I performed all my life. I like it. I am having fun doing it!
But pinnacle? No... the best I did is what I did alone...recording...
But performing? - it is just fun as long as I do what I want and play what I want, at the moment.