I haven’t written much on my blog recently, for two reasons:
1. My website was hacked (aargh), and I have been struggling to deal with the technical issues that resulted.
2. I have been working on a new book. More of that in the new year!
As we come to the end of the year, there’s a lot for classical musicians to reflect on. Not all of it makes for cheerful reflection. For example, my favourite newspaper’s round-up of ’50 amazing musicians to look out for in 2020′ didn’t contain a single classical musician. (Note: this is not because there are no amazing classical musicians.) And the constant drip-drip of reports from various countries about classical music writers and critics having been ‘let go’ from papers and magazines.
However, looking on the bright side, I realise that live music (of all kinds, not just classical) has probably never been so important to me. It seems so precious against a background of more and more music being delivered electronically.
I never cease to be fascinated by that moment where live music begins, and something beautiful is created in real time in front of the audience’s eyes and ears. Flamenco artists speak of ‘duende’, the mystical power of the performer to draw in the audience, the power that is derived from the music. This can be observed in other art forms as well, and I feel I’ve encountered it in several different contexts this year.
I appreciate it the more, probably, because I know what goes into the making of a performance. But I always enjoy seeing how live music offers people a glimpse of another dimension. It lifts them away from their everyday worries, plugs them into a different kind of energy.
So here’s to live music – the power it has, the pleasure it brings. And thank you to all the live musicians who have created something special this year. We need you!