Sunday, June 29, 2008

Random Thoughts On Great Musical Performances.

What makes a great musical performance? Extreme vocal or instrumental prowess? The special atmosphere conjured up by less than perfect technical dexterity? The performer’s ability, by dint of unique phrasing or the enunciation of a single word, to connect with, confirm or challenge some aspect of the listener’s experience? The unclassifiable, yet somehow spiritual response the artist evokes? The feeling in the listener that you have been transported somewhere else; for the duration of the performance you transcend your everyday existence; you become a different, better person. Does a great performance always make you cry? Make you smile with satisfaction? Make you warm inside? Does a great performance arouse feelings of anger at the injustice of this world? Feelings of love, hatred, pity, contempt for our fellow travellers on this earth? Provide a flash of recognition, an epiphany of how magnificent a creation is a human being; what imaginative feats this bag of spirit, skin and bone is capable of? Does a great performance make time stop and for an instant render us immortal?

We could ponder this conundrum until the proverbial cows come home, and finally agree that the answer is probably bits and pieces of some or all of the above, but when it all comes down to dust, the answer for me lies in a mysterious transmission from artist to listener, that je ne sais quoi that I can never quite put my finger on but that definitely puts its finger on me.


Anonymous Madra said...

Well written article.

6:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Together Through Life" is on the eve of release and we still haven't heard from you on "Tell Tale Signs" . . . Sure what's the matter with ye at all, man?

Regards from the Behan anecdotalist

8:16 pm  

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