[Dixielandjazz] Playing above the din - Part 2

Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis larrys.bands at charter.net
Fri Mar 20 17:46:40 PDT 2009

Sometimes people (musicians) forget that music is supposed to be fun and 
enjoyed.  If only holds that if you are having fun you might make noise.  It 
comes from being too focused on the craft and production of music and the 
quest to be perfect.  If you have focused on those things you get tunnel 
vision and fail to see the wider picture.

I am very focused on my music and music in general and I found that people 
enjoyed hearing me more than I enjoyed playing for them.  When I loosened up 
and started getting the concept that music is a relationship between only 
one person in the audience, multiplied by X and you.  It's that connection 
that counts.  I think that the most successful musicians are aware of that 
and are not myopic.

When I started trying for that relationship my music became less a chore to 
be done and I started having fun.  The side effect of that is I started 
making more money.  Sometimes I call that reinventing myself.   This musical 
tunnel vision seems to be a problem that all musicians seem to share in some 
way or another.

The answer is simple.......don't take yourself so seriously and have fun 
with this gift you have.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Stephen G Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "Larry Walton" <larrys.bands at charter.net>
Cc: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 9:18 AM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Playing above the din - Part 2

It seems as if the Classical music groups also have some fun with
noisy audiences. Below article excerpted from a NY Times article.
Then again, I just talked with a trad jazz enthusiast who is trying to
bring swing dancers to his local jazz society concerts. He laments
that at least one board member threatened to quit if those "noisy"
dancers are encouraged to attend.
Oh my, how we old farts still try and KILL this music, all in the name
of "Art". Who the hell are we kidding?
Steve Barbone

March 20, 2009 - NY TIMES - by Steve Smith

For That Prokofiev-Loving, Beer-Swilling Crowd

When the members of the Elysian Quartet took the stage at Le Poisson
Rouge on Wednesday night, Laura Moody, the cellist, made an unusual
request. The group was appearing under the banner of Nonclassical, the
name for both an English record label and a groundbreaking concert
series presented in a London pub. “If you could spill some beer and
get rowdy, we’d feel more comfortable,” Ms. Moody said.

“Start the damn show,” an audience member cheerfully obliged.

Thus welcomed, the ensemble played the String Quartet No. 2 by Gabriel
Prokofiev, a composer, producer, Nonclassical founder and,
incidentally, the grandson of Sergei Prokofiev. The piece had a
likably propulsive buzz, heartily amplified; the first movement
sounded like Bernard Herrmann’s “Psycho” shrieks made to jitter and
surge à la John Adams’s “Shaker Loops.”

Mr. Prokofiev, 34, started Nonclassical in 2003 to “bring contemporary
classical music into the real world,” he had explained earlier from a
sound booth behind the audience. Before and between the performances,
he remixed Nonclassical recordings. (Passages from his grandfather’s
works turned up in the mix too.)

“Clap when you like, talk when you like, go to the bar when you’re
bored with the music,” Mr. Prokofiev said. That seemed unlikely since
this particular Nonclassical event was being presented in tandem with
New Amsterdam, a hip New York record label that has cultivated a loyal
following through showcases in nightclubs and other offbeat spaces.

Despite Mr. Prokofiev’s encouragement, a sizable, chatty audience fell
silent as Samuel Z. Solomon, an adroit percussionist, played Marcos
Balter’s frenetic “Descarga” and Michael Early’s evocative
“raingutter.” In Judd Greenstein’s “We Shall Be Turned,” played later,
Mr. Solomon made the considerable challenge of sustaining smooth
legato lines across disparate instruments seem effortless. . . .

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