The Big City

”The more susbtantial an individual’s aesthetic experience is, the sounder his taste, the sharper his moral focus, the freer—though not necessarily the happier—he is.."

Live-streaming music was only supposed to be a stopgap—it seems musicians were eager to jump into it, thinking it was only temporary.

Well, now it’s the new normal, and its unsustainable. There are so many factors that make live streaming jejune, at best, and aggravation is the normal effect. The poor sound quality of most acoustic performances, which depend on the musician’s transducer and then yours, the disconnect from the listener, the lack of spontaneity and interaction. It’s all dispiriting, and though there are continued critical swoons for it, that seems a product of gratitude—understandable!—and not for the actual music itself.

What does work is archives of live performances. They are more alive, because an audience feeling is captured, then any digital thing happening in real time. So yes check out those opera and classical music performances, those jazz gigs, those Radiohead shows.

Also check out the NYC Ballet’s YouTube page. They are presenting a digital spring season, showing archived performances on a set schedule. I’m not technically knowledgeable about the ballet, but I have always loved it, and it translates extremely well to the small screen.

The other thing about the ballet is you get great music. In the case of the above, you also get the Stravinsky-Balanchine collaborations, and what those two men produced is at the pinnacle of what Western culture has achieved.

“Anyone who can write with insight and authority about Alas No Axis, Sonic Youth, Elvis Costello…Missy Mazzoli and William Britelle, and…Mahler…is okay in my book.”

Darcy James Argue

“A reputable music blog.”

New Amsterdam Records
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