Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Zhoenw blogged a few weeks ago on the subject of live music. In her words, "the best music is live, and surprizing, unexpected and impressive".

I was at a fundraising concert recently with a friend, where professional and amateur musicians performed a selection of pieces ranging from Bach to gospel. I hadn't really wanted to go, but I owed my friend a favour or two, so along we went one Thursday evening. It was held in a smallish local hall, with a hundred or so people in the audience, including a fair number of small children.

I was confounded. It was wonderful. Just a few examples: an electrifying Chopin piano scherzo; Vissi d'Arte from Tosca; a jazz pianist with an accompanying vocal trio; a performance by a small amateur gospel choir that had the audience clapping along in time; and much else besides of a very high standard, punctuated at various appropriate points by laughter, banter and loud applause. At one point during the aria I felt vibrations in my own throat as well as the tears welling in my eyes; with the jazz my solar plexus was tingling. (It appears that live music causes my body, as well as my soul, to sing. Much as I appreciate my collection of CDs, when I listen to them the effect just isn't the same!).

As time went on a few of the children became over-excited and fractious and had to be taken outside temporarily, but nobody really minded - it was just inspiring to be present at such a celebration of music-making in a community context. On the way home, the echoes of the music and the cheers still reverberated in my thoughts and I reflected on how much nourishment for the soul and the emotions there is in events such as this, particularly in our isolated, virtual era. The evening had turned out to be an unexpected gift.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny... Mary... I don't ususally hear music in person.
I have strong reactions to music in person- I either want to walk away... or swing into it. Neither is proper- so listening to music is what I do instead.
Neat to see your experience!

5:40 pm  
Blogger MB said...

Live music is a very physical experience for me — especially if I'm participating in the making of it. Singing is like an internal massage! But there's also the connective aspect — the way music facilitates connecting with other human souls, which you allude to in your post — that I find revitalizing. And I think you are right that in this digital age we don't get enough of this. Certainly not enough for me! Thanks for a great post.

7:17 pm  
Blogger zhoen said...

Wonderful, wonderful.
My throat always sings along, even if I don't let the sound become audible. Or my body moves to the rhythms. Thank you for this.

8:11 pm  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

sounds exhilarating. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience.

8:11 pm  
Blogger starnitesky said...

Mary - sounds like you had a wonderful time and I am pleased to hear the music was so moving. I often find music affects me in this way when listening to it or playing. It can also depend on my mood, sometimes I find I react to the same piece of music in different ways.

Thank you for your kind comments on my blog - I didn't know how to reply - I guess this is it.

5:24 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Thank you all. :-)

10:18 pm  

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