As final exams approach, my students are all exhibiting various levels of anxiety. It has set me thinking about stage fright in relation to the recording dilemma discussed in an earlier post.
It seems a basic human impulse to document our lives. We save photos, letters, all sorts of memorabilia, and, of course, recordings – whether videos of events like weddings, or, in the case of musicians, recordings of concerts. Sometimes it feels like these chronicles take the place of the real thing (the practice of boring visitors with vacation photos comes to mind…)
It can be assumed that most of us are not attracted to music making in order to render perfect performances of difficult pieces. Rather, we are drawn to it because of its uncanny powers of communication – the way in which we can express, or find ourselves and our humanity through sound.
With such easy access to technology, that exquisite, ephemeral moment of sharing in performance becomes clouded by the remaining physical product – the recording. My students tell me they torture themselves by listening to their mistakes over and over…
Mistakes are part of being human.
What do we really want to share in a performance?