Saturday, December 27, 2008

Close Up Music

The more I think about the response the Kenwood Players got at the Gordon House, the more I think it has to do with the audience being so physically close to the instruments. If you click on "medicine" in the tag index, there are a couple of posts linking to news stories from Britain talking about how people in hospital who hear live music regularly leave the hospital sooner and require fewer meds than those who don't have the music.

Part of the effect probably has to do with the performer being able to tweak the music to suit the individual patient, increasing the connection between player and listener. After the Gordon House session, my intuition suggests hearing live music up close also exposes you to deeper and more subtle timbres than you'd get sitting out in a concert hall. So on a physical level it's sort of like a massage. And on an feeling/emotional level, that increased connection between player and listener is probably an intensifier of the experience.

We're set to do some hymns over at Oak Chapel 1/4/09, and I'll try to pay attention to this. The problem is that leading sing alongs, I've got everything memorized and can focus on the clients. Playing the alto flute with the players requires full concentration on the music and the music making, so it's harder to observe the response.

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