Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rated M for Mature

Is it me, or are the “classical” music concerts becoming increasingly boring? I was thinking about this as I reflected upon my recent classical music concert experiences. It is not an original thought because I am aware of this presumption, sometimes bluntly expressed by my acquaintances. So, why not address the issue?

The audience, often sparse, varies the look of its cast. You will notice; the professors, the college students (nerds); the affiliates; the donors and trustees; the composers (depending on the concert); the usual suspects (white wigs); the performers; the visitor(s); the family and friends (supporters); the one family (with a child or two) and then me. I would like to consider myself an observer, the person who watches, that is entertained, and patiently awaiting that outer body experience that would enlighten my naive perception of contemporary classical music.

Who doesn't love a good experience? But why would you go to a classical music concert? I never ask myself this question. I attend these concerts because I want to. But, it is a good question when juxtaposed to another musical experience. Why go to these concerts when you can go to a comedy or night club where you can drink with your friends and laugh for 3 hours straight. Why listen to Beethoven in a hall when you can attend a rave, get F***** up on E and feel the bass of Skrillex's Kill Everybody Dubstep. It's not the 60's or 80's but we can not forget about the hippies rocking to some Hendrix on pot, and Emos doing coke while swaying to punk. (I wonder if people still get high while listening to minimalism?). The point is that you will not find drugs at a classical music concert. This is what the classical scene is up against [drugs and alcohol].

Apart of the experience of these concerts is to become educated, which is becoming, borderline, too dry and arduous of an experience. Many “professionally” organized concerts would have countless pages of program notes and bios, an exhausting hour of a pre-concert talk or lecture and the awkward silences that occur between the oddly paced and unorganized stage changes.

In the end, I have stated the facts, made comparisons, complained and probably came off as an asshole. But, can you see the problem? I do not support or condone the advertisement of hard drugs and alcohol. I am generalizing. But the lack of interest in these concerts can be found in the experiences that they provide. People experience things to escape loss, pain, suffering, and reality so that they can remember what it feels like to laugh, to sing and to dance. A concert experience should be a gratifying experience.

And, of course, anyone can go on and on about this topic, but this is not a paper, this is a blog.

A Recent dialog between a friend (19) and I (21):

21: I went to a concert yesterday.

19: Oooo...where did you go?

21: It was some concert at NEC.

19: Oh... I thought you meant like a real concert.

21: Oh?......... (dumbfounded)

Thank You for reading,

Kwaumane Brown

Longy School of Music
UD in Composition ('12)

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