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As this month’s music curator, I would like to present the monthly theme ‘on performing’: investigating ideas surrounding and focusing on events, situations, objects-whatever anyone would or could call performing. 


As a pianist I am curious about how other musical performers, including electronic and laptop artists ‘see’ themselves performing. Do you think that the reception for these events are different based on the nature of the performance? (Acoustic vs Electro-Acoustic vs DJ eg) What kind of expectations do you think audiences have when they hear ‘there is going to be a performance of x…’?

As composers, the sound event of our work consists of a type of performance whose success depends on: the perceived likeability of our work/the successful transmission of our ideas from page to instrument and the success, ultimately, of our technical ability in the craft of composition. The composed work, its performance by musicians, and its reception can in its entirety be seen as a type of performance. Do you agree? 


But this isn’t just about music: how do dancers or fashion models or visual artists or filmmakers ‘see’ themselves performing? If the object can include not just musical or dance events, but the catwalk, canvas or screen, can we still investigate, and address these events as performances?  How do we then talk about them?  What kind of language should we use?


Anyway, on the lighter side- feel free to add your thoughts: you can talk about your favourite performers, or upcoming performances-or maybe even performances you would like to see happen (but will probably never happen)-or even that special performance that you always wanted to catch-but just missed.

1: John Cage: 4’33”.

2: Chris Watson - Le Crone


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Troy says:
“john cage...who was performing for who?! the musicians for the audience or the audience for the musicians? mr. conductor certainly held rank and control (synchronized laughs at 2:59 and synchronized coughs at 5:29)...joke's on the audience i suppose, but sensational none the less, especially if the audience did indeed show up to a music hall to hear the rumblings of eachother's bellies. this performance makes me feel cheated. if i made an effort to see you perform, the least you could do was actually break a sweat...makes britney spears look like the jackson 5. im actually not angry about it, but im now of the opinion that john cage is the bernie madoff of music. i want my money back. i want my 4'33" back. i suppose it comes down to the viewers opinion of what he considers performance. i feel insulted for everyone that "listens" to this, including the social register-ers it was probably meant for. great concept for a post though. very VERY stimulating”
Posted over 5 years ago
GraceAnne says:
“Great reply! Thank you so much. You've brought up several good points: one being that the performance 'object' is not always obvious; the second that the venue or context of the event will help shape and perhaps, determine its reception. OK, more questions later...”
Posted over 5 years ago
Disquiet says:
“It's an interesting question. Some initial thoughts below: I'm not sure I'd divide it as broadly as by type of music/musician. Individuals perceive these things differently, and when it comes to grouping those individuals, I might look to generational dividers before I looked at genre dividers. An LP turntable may be merely a consumer-electronics product for playing recordings to one group, a performer's tool to another group, and a form of creative self-expression to a third. Venue can serve as a shorthand for the performer's issues, and for the audience's prejudices as well. Certain venues will allow for a different understanding about a given performance, based on shared assumptions on the part of the regulars at that venue, based on accrued internal culture of the venue itself. There's also a social element to live concert performances. Much as I'd be interested, per your post, about how the perception of performance might differ from period-repertoire classical to contemporary dance to experimental laptop to turntablism, I wonder how much at each such event the performers are cognizant of, concerned with, or otherwise make adjustments in regard to the audience's sense that they're wherever they are not only to enjoy the show but also to see other people. I'm thinking of the socialite atmosphere at an opera, and the "everyone in the audience is a fellow musician" vibe at a small experimental show. ”
Posted over 5 years ago
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