The Single In the Concert
Review On "United in Music" performance
As my first orchestra experience, I didn’t know how to engage with the performance. Do I close my eyes and allow Kinan Asmeh’s clarinet take me from my seat in Davidson to a Syrian Bazaar? Do I find a particular nuance and chord in the piece and try to find which musician this came from? Do I focus on the chemistry between musicians or try to decipher what the arm movements of the conductor mean? The first three pieces, I tried to standardize my own etiquette and find the “right way” to experience the performance. Despite the dozens of instruments being played at one time, the only thing I could hear was my own voice of judgement. I wondered if the people around me could tell that I was having a debate in my head.
It wasn’t until I finally just closed my eyes and listened. I could make out the individual notes of a cello, the deeper sounds of the viola. It wasn’t until I hushed my own mental chatter that I realized how many melodies were building on each other. I tried to imagine what the sound would be like with one less flute, or one less clarinet. I thought how it is so easy to ignore the individual musicians but appreciate the music as a whole. The individual in the concert, whether playing or in the audience debating with her own self, is still important in creating the ambiance of the concert. If there was one less student playing in the concert, the whole dynamic would be altered. If there was one less person in the audience, the applause after a song would be less prominent. Getting lost in the music allowed me to appreciate individual pieces while still being immersed in the whole.