\"\"
Piano Forum logo

What's a performance, anyways? (Read 418 times)

Offline lelle

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1103
What's a performance, anyways?
« on: April 26, 2021, 07:56:28 PM »
What is a performance, when a pianist (or any musician for that matter) plays for an audience, anyways?

Is it entertainment? Is it something profound? Is it for the pleasure of the audience or for the gratification of the artist? Is it something that brings people closer together or a fundamentally lonely experience for both the artist and the audience? Is it about self-expression or about getting yourself out of the way? Is it all of these things? Is it none of these things? What's the purpose of it?

What do you think?

Offline ranjit

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 944
Re: What's a performance, anyways?
«Reply #1 on: April 26, 2021, 09:58:43 PM »
In my mind, it is about communicating the emotions and the music. I think it's also about communicating ideas, analogous to a scientific conference.

Edit: it's a bit of a farfetched analogy, so let me explain. Imagine you're a scientist at a conference and can understand what is going on, and it's related to your work. Then, when you hear another speaker bring out their viewpoint, that can give you ideas or even spark an emotional reaction.

Offline j_tour

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2566
Re: What's a performance, anyways?
«Reply #2 on: April 26, 2021, 11:01:21 PM »
I go along with what the audience (well, one who is engaged and listening, or perhaps even not) might receive.

So, like above, it's really a means of communicating ideas.

Maybe I'm a bit bizarre, but I don't ever "let the music wash over me" and all that aesthetic pleasure:  I want to hear ideas, and execution.

For that reason, I don't really listen to music very much, at least not passively:  I'm looking for ideas or their expression.   More or less, things I can steal and use for my own ends, whether in music or a different field of enquiry.

As for what a performance "is":  that's a legitimate question, but the response is likely to be technical and not exactly pertinent to the spirit of the question. 
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline comma

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 25
Re: What's a performance, anyways?
«Reply #3 on: April 27, 2021, 06:34:20 AM »
"The purpose of art is to wash the dust of daily life off our souls." (Pablo Picasso)

Offline lelle

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1103
Re: What's a performance, anyways?
«Reply #4 on: April 27, 2021, 08:40:39 PM »
"The purpose of art is to wash the dust of daily life off our souls." (Pablo Picasso)

That's an interesting statement. I sort of agree but I have to ask... Why do we need art for that, though?

Offline j_tour

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2566
Re: What's a performance, anyways?
«Reply #5 on: April 27, 2021, 11:29:49 PM »
That's an interesting statement. I sort of agree but I have to ask... Why do we need art for that, though?

Hélène Cixous cites a fragment of Kafka somewhere, which reads something like "reading is the axe that breaks the frozen sea within us."  I don't recall either the French or the German formulation.  It might be from one of the letters to Milena, but I don't feel like walking the ten feet to check.

Mutatis mutandis.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline anacrusis

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 338
Re: What's a performance, anyways?
«Reply #6 on: April 30, 2021, 11:08:53 PM »
A performance is a sharing. Or at least it should be. It can be trying to prove something to someone, which I think is the wrong way to go.