A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of attending a party in which the entertainment was provided by those present. There were 2 guitars, a mandolin, a keyboard, a cello and a violin. First there was chamber music. Then, everyone sang rounds. Finally, least a dozen people – perhaps half of the revelers – got up to sing, either alone or in pairs. They offered original creations as well as old and current popular hits.
The great delight that we took in each other still brings a smile to my face.
This sharing generated a joy that went far beyond what is possible in our more passive forms of entertainment. Of course, before technology made everything available at the push of a button, active creation was the first, most important element to any such gathering – whether it was story telling, acting, singing, music making, dancing….
It brought to mind that great man, Charles Ives. Ives disliked and avoided recordings and radio, feeling that these kinds of technology interfered with the direct, experience of live music. A step down the slippery slope…
He would have loved that party.