You had to be there.
One of the great parts of life with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic is visiting with patrons at concerts. In particular, our subscribers care so much about the music performed, and also about the general health of our organization. They’re the ultimate insiders, and so appreciated.
Invariably, I get questions from patrons and musicians of the orchestra about recording our concerts for sale. It’s a good idea, right? After hearing a heartpounding performance of Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Concerto, it’s only natural to want to seek out a recording of that concert to hear again later. It’s so gratifying to get this question, but the question remains: why don’t we record concerts for sale? Answer: It’s complicated. In fact, buy me a beer sometime and I’ll try to explain.
Far beyond any financial drawbacks, I’d argue that no recording is the same as the LIVE concert experience. I was reminded of this when reading Daniel Gulati’s post in the Harvard Business Review called “Stop Documenting, Start Experiencing.” For so many, it’s an overwhelming impulse to document every moment. (Enjoying yourself? Quick, snap a picture for Facebook!) It’s so ingrained that we easily forget to consciously live in the moment and really experience life.
I’m in no position to lecture – trust me, my iPhone is rarely out of arm’s reach. But concerts have become a sacred time for me to turn off the distractions and really listen. That’s one of the great things about live music, after all. Its fleeting nature is the thing that makes it so special. As my buddy Judy Fair Spaulding would say, “You gotta BE THERE, honey, to really feel it!” No recording – ever – can replace a live concert.
Next time you’re in a concert, I invite you to open up to the music, let go of distractions, and join us in the moment. Listening is a fine art in itself. Your patience will be rewarded.