I wanted to impart some knowledge I gained from my experiences in Larry Scripp’s Graduate Seminar class this week. After having time to reflect and create a descriptive review of the videos posted last week, we (as a class) watched the videos, and came up with some pretty interesting discoveries.
In live performance, it was agreed upon by the class that Shanshan’s clarinet playing was much too quiet to balance Vito’s voice. However, the balance was the opposite in the video; we could barely hear Vito’s recitation. This brought in the question, “How were we measuring balance to begin with in the live performance?” I believe that we could take in the whole picture when it was live, meaning that we were determining balance between not only the sounds and their volumes, but by the actions/gestures as well. Vito was simply more animated in person, which contributed to him sounding louder. In viewing the video, however, one is unable to control what or whom they are looking at, so it then falls into the hands of the cinemitographer. This third person now has complete control of how the live performance is being presented whether he/she knows it or not!
These elements came up in class, because after watching the videos, we were all left with a hollowed feeling of what we experienced live. So, we wanted to understand why that happened.
Here’s a challenge: View the first two videos. Try to imagine, if you can, seeing this performance live and then seeing the video. What are your observations? Also, since you probably did not see the performance live, try to describe how a live performance might take away from your first experience… Enjoy.
Brynn Rector is a graduate trumpet performance major at New England Conservatory, and Research Assistant for the Center for Music-in-Education.