Playing Live in the Y2K

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Rognvald
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Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by Rognvald » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:56 pm

Somewhere on the African Savannah, perhaps millions of years ago, a strand of animal gut was strung between 2 ends of a curved piece of wood and one of the first musical instruments was created. And, the impetus for this creation was the player's desire for personal expression and the entertainment of the group. Millions of years later, the musical impulse remains unchanged however with the advent of recordings and Youtube, live performances of serious music(Classical, Jazz, Flamenco, Bossa, etc.) are in decline. The advantage to the listener of live music is that they have an intimate connection with the musician(s) and the spontaneity of a live performance. There is nowhere to hide behind a highly edited video or the magic of the recording studio where a musician's sound can be dramatically altered to compensate for technical inconsistencies or quality of sound. I remember attending a concert by Liona Boyd in the early 90's in a concert hall that held about 500 people. I had several of Liona's albums and enjoyed her lyrical style and full sound. However, when she played live with the aid of a microphone, she sounded like a completely different guitarist and her sound was decidedly thin and weak and many of her nuances were completely missing. This was a great disappointment and it was then that I really understood the importance of judging a musician by live performances. Today, performance opportunities for serious music are very limited to all but the best and with generations of video obsessed viewers/listeners are we seeing the slow death of live music? What do you think? Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:24 pm

Rognvald wrote:... are we seeing the slow death of live music?
I think the tolling of the death knell may be a little premature - it may be that we are lucky here but I doubt it; we have three orchestras, three or four pro-level and probably a dozen or so amateur choirs, the national centre for early music, three large theatres and an opera house for visiting ballet etc.

There are masses of bars and clubs offering live performances of all sorts, from string quartet to cabaret and burlesque - one may make a choice of trad. or modern jazz, blues, classical, folk, indie or rock on almost any night of the week and, with a little less frequency, reggae, punk and the various branches of goth and metal.

In just one venue this month we have concerts of: concertina and Northumbrian pipes, a musical portrait of Rameau, an Opera North production based on Japanese folk tales, Bach's St. John Passion, a community chorus with tea and cake, a lute recital, flamenco show with Juan Martin and a Glaswegian "celtic" band, Barluath.

Add to that the numerous social clubs and groups (including a guitar society), the university music department's regular concerts and a steady stream of "world music" visiting the city - from where I'm sitting the live scene has never looked healthier.

By the way, we've reached 2018 here in the UK.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:36 pm

Rognvald wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:56 pm
... I remember attending a concert by Liona Boyd in the early 90's in a concert hall that held about 500 people. I had several of Liona's albums and enjoyed her lyrical style and full sound. However, when she played live with the aid of a microphone, she sounded like a completely different guitarist and her sound was decidedly thin and weak and many of her nuances were completely missing. This was a great disappointment and it was then that I really understood the importance of judging a musician by live performances. ...
One of the nicest sounding players I know was put through a mic to play my 3rd concerto and he became instantly one of the worst sounding players I ever heard. Perhaps your observation was allowing for this possibility but I wouldn't decide on somebody's tone till I heard it direct from a distance of no more than 30 feet.
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Rognvald
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by Rognvald » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:01 pm

Here in Chicago, Mark, many of the small clubs that featured live music either have closed or play electronic music. Chicago's Jazz Showcase, a nationally recognized historic club in the past featured top performers weekly but today cannot afford to pay the top talent to travel to Chicago and remain profitable with the limited crowds. Our Lyric Opera has resorted to playing musicials since they cannot keep the doors open playing strictly opera. Our Symphony Center features mindless "entertainers" that appeal to the masses rather than the serious classical/Jazz performers that graced its halls. Several years ago there were several Flamenco clubs that featured live music weekly that are no longer operating. Classical guitar concerts are very limited and usually there are no venues for local classical guitarists unless they want to play free. And the beat goes on . . . but aside from these realities, a musician cannot hone his skills as a "bedroom player" but rather needs to jump in the water and swim . . . sometimes with the sharks to advance his craft/Art to the next level. Back in the Sixties/Seventies, I was a working musician in R and B/Jazz Rock groups and there were countless venues in every area of the city that for the last 40 years no longer exist. And, as a result, people have resorted to Youtube to advance their careers since performance opportunities are so limited. How, then, can we promote the next generation of performers when this is so endemic? What is the chance of a college grad in Classical/Jazz Music making a living performing? If only the "geniuses" can perform regularly, what happens to the throngs of great Music grads after graduation? A job in computers? CPA? Bus driver? Perhaps some other performing musicians can relate their personal experiences as well. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

RaajShinde
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by RaajShinde » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:25 pm

Rognvald wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:56 pm
Somewhere on the African Savannah, perhaps millions of years ago, a strand of animal gut was strung between 2 ends of a curved piece of wood and one of the first musical instruments was created.
The earliest human "musical instrument" was more than likely the human voice. There is no evidence to suggest that "a strand of animal gut was strung between 2 ends of a curved piece of wood" was created "perhaps millions of years ago". The earliest musical instruments that we know of date back to the early Paleolithic age and were more than likely percussion instruments, followed perhaps by wind instruments made of bone.
Rognvald wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:56 pm
And, the impetus for this creation was the player's desire for personal expression and the entertainment of the group.
Do you have any evidence to support this assertion or are you just speculating?
Rognvald wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:56 pm
Millions of years later, the musical impulse remains unchanged
Wow! Another breath-taking leap of logic. Do tell us more about how you arrived at this conclusion. Perhaps a few links to the NIH website(s)? :)
Rognvald wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:56 pm
however with the advent of recordings and Youtube, live performances of serious music(Classical, Jazz, Flamenco, Bossa, etc.) are in decline.
Sounds like you're still not over Tatyana's Youtube channel... :D
Rognvald wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:56 pm
The advantage to the listener of live music is that they have an intimate connection with the musician(s) and the spontaneity of a live performance. There is nowhere to hide behind a highly edited video or the magic of the recording studio where a musician's sound can be dramatically altered to compensate for technical inconsistencies or quality of sound. I remember attending a concert by Liona Boyd in the early 90's in a concert hall that held about 500 people. I had several of Liona's albums and enjoyed her lyrical style and full sound. However, when she played live with the aid of a microphone, she sounded like a completely different guitarist and her sound was decidedly thin and weak and many of her nuances were completely missing. This was a great disappointment and it was then that I really understood the importance of judging a musician by live performances. Today, performance opportunities for serious music are very limited to all but the best and with generations of video obsessed viewers/listeners are we seeing the slow death of live music? What do you think? Playing again . . . Rognvald
Music is dead. Music schools (and all the teachers on the planet, including august members of Delcamp) are churning out mindless automations who are a "slave to the score" and "reading dots on the page", "without any knowledge of music theory". Even if there are any good teachers left, the students they are likely instructing are devoid of any genetic basis for being "musicians" and might as well just shoot themselves. I myself just realized that coming from several generations of dirt-poor folk that never had the means, I'm just wasting my time trying to learn CG. I'm off to burn my books and guitars.

NOT. :D

Off to pop some corn. :twisted:

Cheers!
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Rognvald
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by Rognvald » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:56 pm

I'm off to burn my books .. . Raaj
I wouldn't do that quite yet, Raaj . . . it's obvious to me that you have a.) never read them or b.) have the incapacity to understand what you've read. Give it awhile . . . maybe in a few more years you'll be ready for enlightenment. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

chiral3
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by chiral3 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:59 pm

I realize that your story was for effect, R, but it's worth noting that quite a few anthropologists have spent their lives arguing that music began as primitive forms of communication (some believe language began and evolved this way). If this is true, and I have no reason to dispute it, I'd (re)quote McLuhan from the other thread: the medium is the message. Like I said, don't get hung upon the modality. I appreciate a good space too, but the music does actually exist apart from the medium. Like a good theory in physics, though, it's hard to separate from a background. When I leave a well tuned space I talk about the sound of the space and the audience as much as I do the bassist or the violinist's performance.

I wouldn't conflate perceived changes in appreciation and conservancy with the end of something larger. People have been bemoaning this since the Edison cylinder. People have been bemoaning the death of "serious music" for a century. It's still here. I can't speak for Chicago. But I can speak for NY, Philly, London, and, to a lesser extent, Boston. It's alive and well. The biggest thing that has changed through the years has been me. I am getting older.
"Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect" - Margaret Mitchell

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:37 pm

I’m guessing more people are attending live music events today than at any time in history, packing 20,000 seat stadiums on a weekly basis. Judging from the rapture of their adoring fans and the expressiveness of the musicians, I can’t say that what they are producing is not “serious” music. But who am I to judge?

The question is why have some genres from the past (classical, jazz, bossa, flamenco) been left in the dust compared to others (e.g. Guns ‘n Roses, Jimmy Buffet, Ed Sheeran https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes ... o-far/amp/).

And with apologies to Segovia, is our instrument best served in large, amplified concert and basketball venues, or in chapels and parlors where it came from? Some (Jesse Cook) are giving it a go.

I am also guessing if you put all of us CG’ers together we could fill a couple Justin Bieber concerts. As amazing as that may be, why would we?
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:38 pm

Maybe we should establish a sub-forum dedicated to how the world disappoints Rognvald.

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robin loops
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by robin loops » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:02 pm

They shared the same fears when recorded music first appeared. It was going to be the death of music because prior to recordings, musicians made their living performing live. Then radio was to have the same effect. People claimed that no one would buy records if they could listen for free. Nowadays its YouTube and spotify that are going to kill music.

Same thing goes for advancements in technology for making music. The electric guitar was gonna kill the acoustic. Digital music is going to kill the use of real instruments. And so on.

The reality is much different. Even with all the advances made we still have live music, people still buy music, still listen to the radio, and still use real instruments. We even still hear at least one guitar in nearly every single song on every radio station regardless of the genre, despite the fact that "the guitar is dying" because Gibson can't hang on in the current competitive climate (of course none of the naysayers look at the exploding pedal market when forming that opionion).

Innovation doesn't (and will never) kill music. It only brings about the extinction of those that don't evolve with the times and/or adapt to the changes over time.
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by northernfox » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:25 pm

Within the last 10 days, I attended the following live music events: David Russell recital, advanced guitar student's performance, Chieftans concert, symphony performances of Schubert and Brahms, and today I am off to hear the Romeros (with Pepe) perform at a chamber music festival.

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lucy
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by lucy » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:26 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:37 pm
I’m guessing more people are attending live music events today than at any time in history, packing 20,000 seat stadiums on a weekly basis. Judging from the rapture of their adoring fans and the expressiveness of the musicians, I can’t say that what they are producing is not “serious” music. But who am I to judge?

The question is why have some genres from the past (classical, jazz, bossa, flamenco) been left in the dust compared to others (e.g. Guns ‘n Roses, Jimmy Buffet, Ed Sheeran https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes ... o-far/amp/).
I think you're absolutely right. Apparently, because so few people are buying CDs and the artists get so little for downloads, it has become even more important to perform live. That is where the money is! Enya said as much, in an article. She said her career was built on studio albums, that, in those days, could not be performed live, because the technology was not there. If she was starting out today, it would be the reverse.

Secondly, it does seem that certain kinds of music have fallen out of favour, somewhat, but it's also true some serious musicians have bucked that trend. Milos Karadaglic, for example, gets a lot of stick on this forum, but all he is doing, with the help of his record company, is using extramusical things to help enhance his popularity. I think it's called "moving with the times". One very famous CG player said exactly that to me, very recently. He also said musicians have to reinvent themselves - people often say that's what pop stars do - but in reality, all musicians do it.

Another example is Andre Rieu. I have to admit I knew very little about him and his act, until recently. However, I watched a documentary and well, his career with his waltz orchestra is amazing. The most incredible thing I found out is he actually outsells pop stars!! The were a couple of years, in Australia when he was the biggest selling musician there, of any genre!

Of course, it seems to me lots of serious musicians like to scoff at people like Milos and Rieu, however, is that actually fair? Are they just "moving with the times"?
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By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world."
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Adrian Allan
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by Adrian Allan » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:35 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:24 pm
Rognvald wrote:... are we seeing the slow death of live music?
I think the tolling of the death knell may be a little premature - it may be that we are lucky here but I doubt it; we have three orchestras, three or four pro-level and probably a dozen or so amateur choirs, the national centre for early music, three large theatres and an opera house for visiting ballet etc.

There are masses of bars and clubs offering live performances of all sorts, from string quartet to cabaret and burlesque - one may make a choice of trad. or modern jazz, blues, classical, folk, indie or rock on almost any night of the week and, with a little less frequency, reggae, punk and the various branches of goth and metal.

In just one venue this month we have concerts of: concertina and Northumbrian pipes, a musical portrait of Rameau, an Opera North production based on Japanese folk tales, Bach's St. John Passion, a community chorus with tea and cake, a lute recital, flamenco show with Juan Martin and a Glaswegian "celtic" band, Barluath.

Add to that the numerous social clubs and groups (including a guitar society), the university music department's regular concerts and a steady stream of "world music" visiting the city - from where I'm sitting the live scene has never looked healthier.

By the way, we've reached 2018 here in the UK.
When I went to York last year, I was struck by how bourgeois the city was; even though here in Manchester we have a university and two world class orchestras, York has a totally different feel to it altogether. It has a leafy suburb feel all over. Playing a classical instrument and knowing about wine seems to be almost de rigueur.I think that York really is the exception rather than the rule, having travelled all over the UK. Is there such a thing as inner-city York?
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ronjazz
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by ronjazz » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:22 pm

a string of gut bowed on a stick was likely one of the first weapons, not musical instruments. it morphed into the 'ngoni and kora, when amplified by a calash and goatskin, then strings were added. besides the voice, log drums were probably earliest, followed by reed pipes and bone flutes, as far as we can tell at this point. in any event, I have 8 gigs this coming week. live musical events, from concerts to clubs to restaurants. and I'm not in a major metropolitan area, so while the gigs may be getting scarcer, I haven't much evidence of that.
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Re: Playing Live in the Y2K

Post by Rognvald » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:14 pm

Somewhere on the African Savannah, perhaps millions of years ago, a strand of animal gut was strung between 2 ends of a curved piece of wood and one of the first musical instruments was created. Rognvald

I'm wondering after reading my above quote, how so many educated, intelligent people missed what I called "one of the first musical instruments" . . . not the FIRST musical instrument as so many have implied, inferred or stated previously. Writing in the English language, I don't know how I could have stated this more clearly. And, since we are guitarists, the above analogy seemed appropriate and relevant to our trade since such instruments are still used today among indigenous tribes worldwide. Secondly, to compare the relative health/success of popular music(music of the masses) to Classical and Jazz is patently absurd and, for me, further discussion seems pointless. Many of my friends today are professional, performing musicians in both Classical and Jazz. They are accomplished, long-time musicians and without teaching would have to abandon Music for another "profession" because the PAID performance opportunities just do not exist today as they did in the past when teaching to survive was not necessary. Perhaps they are living in an alternate reality from some of the armchair "musicians" in this Forum who have never performed as a paid musician but I can assure you that making a living as a serious performer is almost impossible today unless, as I said previously, you are the "cream of the crop." Finally, the fact that there are still venues worldwide that continue to offer serious music in no way makes the case that PAID PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES are alive and well. Even during America's Great Depression and two World Wars, serious music continued to exist throughout the country. But, existence does not imply health much as the fact that a cancer patient that is still breathing, eating and walking belies the reality of his/her terminal cancer. So, the beauty of any discussion is that we are able to present ideas based on our own unique weltanschauung couched in our own life experiences. However, if I had a problem with my plumbing, I wouldn't call my dentist . . . but then again, you might. Playing again . . . and imbued with the spirit of a lively debate(?) . . . Rognvald . . . Champion of the Unwashed Masses????????
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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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