Many More Stars> "with a good offer for Warsaw in July $40,000 for a jazzfestival (indoors, 2500 capacity) in Warsaw. The snag is that it includes TVand radio rights for Poland". Richard then expresses the view that bothaudio & video bootlegs will be inevitable. He continues: "However, all themajor festivals include these TV and radio rights so we would have toexclude fesstivals entirely if we refuse these rights".
Interested audients, and potential audients from Europe, will note thefollowing points:
1. Although nominally a live performance of (mainly extemporised) music, thekey to the offer is for TV and radio.
Therefore, what is on offer is not actually the live performance of musicto be experienced in real time: this is to be a visual / audio recordingsession.
Therefore, the performing musician's attention is not directed primarilytowards embracing a communion with the collective audients within thatspecific playing space and in that one particular moment, but towards animaginary audience in other spaces and times, gently fondling thefast-forward or pause buttons of their VCR controllers and sonicreproduction systems of increasing sophistication.
The phrase, after Lucy Green, "fetishising the inherent and delineatedmeanings of music" springs effortlessly to mind.
Or, to put this slightly more coarsely and without fully embracing all thesublteties and complexities of the event, "fuck the audience".
2. Any indoor venue (with rare exceptions) which seats 2500 is too big forquality listening and seeing.
And, if this is the Warsaw venue which King Crimson played in 1996 (the one"given" by Stalin to the Polish people), let us prepare to enter despair.Anyone doubting that archictecture can shape and direct our feelings mightwish (or not) to experience the paranoia constructed and embedded in thebackstage area; e.g. by the use and availability of light, and fenestration.
And, if this is not that venue, prepare to enter despair anyway.
Note: the audience sit. All of them. The visual attention is directedtowards one place - the stage - upon which the performers perform. Little orno physial motion is permitted to the necessarily immobile audience who, ifmoving, provide disruption to the performance. The differentiation, abarrier, between audience and performer is built into the space. Thisbarrier is either accepted by the performer, whether or not they wish topromote, present, or enact the notion of The Romantic Artist; or, itprovides an additional difficulty in seeking communion with the audience asessentially the same person within an act of music (or, after ChristopherSmall, musicking).
We haven't even begun to consider the acoustics.
3. The music, and musical scale, of ProjeKct Two is better suited to a club:
i) The musicians do not profess to the status of Greats; ii) The musicmakes no claims to be part of an eternal canon of sacred works;
iii) Both seek to engage the audience in celebrating an eternal act,impersonal yet intimate, of how music enters our lives - in the moment, inthe place, between these people.
iv) This is process, not product; these are people, not producers andconsumers; this is an act of music, not commodity; this is celebration, fun,seriousness but not solemnity; having a beer of coffee while walking around- how distorted the idea of Promenade Concerts has become!
4. $40,000 is, on the surface, a lot of money for one show.
i) The cost of getting the personnel, and equipment, to Warsaw in competentperformance mode is $20,000 - 25,000. With engineers' wages, plus additionalcosts, I estimate the net to the three musicians as $7,500 - $10,000. (Afinancially successful tour at this usually level nets 20-30% for theplayers).
ii) The margins - travelling & jet lags in both directions - for a one dayevent takes (at least) a week.
iii) The likely scenario to make this event feasible is to build a touraround this one video & recording event (which takes place in a venue sounsuitable as to define the word).
iv) I have not yet discussed the operations of the entertainment industryeast (and even south) of Leipzig.
5. The offer demonstrates how it is that the life of a working musicianconspires to deny me the possibility of approaching the experiencing ofmusic which I know to be available.
Hope! Hope! Hope has appeared! Chris has returned from lunch bearing alatte to a place otherwise characterised by the word "wretched"! Thismorning I have been reading (in a shaking chair, against a shaking desk,within the din) Andrew Blake's chapter "The Landscape With Music" in "TheLand Without Music".
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