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What about the audience? (Read 6234 times)

Offline ahmedito

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What about the audience?
« on: July 17, 2004, 01:59:37 AM »
Last year, after a summer of listening master classes given by Yo Yo Ma I had a big breakthrough in my playing. Suddenly I would get standing ovations, be asked for encores or simply feel much better and have audiences like my playing much more; and before this, I was really just considered localy as another one of a whole bunch of local pianists. Im suddenly starting to stand apart from that bunch. I wondered, what am I doing different???

I realized that Yo Yo was always very enfatical about concentrating on the flow of music from interpreter to audience. Much more than listening to yourself, or concentrating on what you are doing, on how you look, or what the audience is doing; he simply taught me to open your ears to the way the music reverberates in a hall, comes out of your instrument and into the ears and minds of your listeners. When playing Scarlatti I felt like dancing, I felt happy, so now when I play these works of his, I try to fell that energy going out into the audience, I wanted to put a smile in everyones face, and to make them bounce in their seats. When I played Beethoven, I felt vulnerable and so, I want now people to leave the hall feeling human and vulnerable and moved. I never thought of the audience before, and missed out on what I think is the most rewarding part of being a musician: to give music to other people. To lose my inhibitions and fears and simply open my heart to the audience. To become a generous person and go out on the stage with the sole purpose of giving. Eventually, the circumstances would have some effect on my interpretation, and a quiet audience, or a sighing audience, or an enthusiastic audience now has a big effect on how I play.

I dont know, Ive seen that many other pianists are fearful of the audience, or a bit pedantic, as if they want teach the audience, or boast. Others simply dont want to think of the audience at all!

Do you give thought to your relationship with the audience?

Does the audience affect you in positive ways?

For a good laugh, check out my posts in the audition room, and tell me exactly how terrible they are :)


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Re: What about the audience?
«Reply #1 on: July 17, 2004, 03:32:35 AM »
Just hearing you describe what you try to give your listeners Ahmedito, makes me want to hear you. I think alot of times, some performers feel like they are doing the audience a favor by playing. I've always felt it was the other way around...

I think the job of a truly talented pianist, is one who not simply plays for the audience to hear...but plays for them to "feel" as well. You've probably become more popular as that is what you are now trying to do. If I (as a listener) simply want to hear a piece, I can put in a CD. Part of the experience of hearing a pianist, is getting something different than what I expect..or I guess much MORE than I expect. It is my desire, upon listening that the performer can take me to the same place he is, so that it's not so much the performer giving something TO me, but rather sharing WITH me.

I remember recently attending a concert with a famed pianist, and he played Rachmaninoff....my friend and I were sitting there listening, and the friend made the comment to me,...("I can feel his (rach's) passion so strong, I can almost smell him"). Later, I thought about this comment, and concluded perhaps that was probably one of the biggest compliments a pianist could get. To feel that close to the music.

You stated you didn't know what you were doing differently. Did you think about the audience in the same way before as you do now? If not, you probably have your answer.

Very interesting topic. I wish you all the success, and truly would love to hear your music if you have any files.

S :)

Offline abe

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Re: What about the audience?
«Reply #2 on: July 17, 2004, 05:00:56 AM »
I haven't an aleborate response to this topic, but i shall share my thoughts.

This idea of communicating to the audience seems to be very effective--I shall try it-- and I've also heard another thing that might improve performance. Rather than thinking of yourself when performing, ie. trying to sound impressive or virtuosic, think of the composer, and then try to play the music in it's intended way. This redirects one's focus from his/her own self now to the composer and essentially to the music itself, and this would indeed affect interpretation. Of course to be able to employ this method effectively, further study of the peice might be required. I probably sound foolish, but one should play music for the composer (and the audience too), not for himself.

Mind you, this would probably only apply to me in a performance setting, for I often sit down at the piano for the sole purpose of cheering myself up or releiving stress, etc.

Offline Tash

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Re: What about the audience?
«Reply #3 on: July 17, 2004, 05:44:32 AM »
yeah i believe that conveying feeling to the audience is really important, like getting them to feel something is just amazing- i love it when i'm part of the audience and you just get totally wrapped up in what they're playing.

my major work for art last year was actually based on this idea. I tried to visually depict the images and feelings that i try to convey when playing. now whether i sucessfully did that or not i'm not too sure but everybody loved it and i won the creative arts trophy so i was pretty proud! when i set up my own website with my portfolio of artworks i'll tell you all so you can tell me what you think
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy