Standing or sitting on stage, perhaps reading music during the performance. Offering to the audience large or small what they’ve been practicing over and over for days, weeks, or months. Will the audience accept the product being offered to them? What will be their reaction if they don’t? maybe a blank stare with open mouths. If they embrace the performance how will they react? Perhaps the same way. Difficult to judge during the performance itself. Strange how the musician will practice the material endlessly, painstakingly working toward their own perfection in preparation for the stage. They achieve only a certain level of satisfaction but never reach the perfection they’ve strived for. Little do they know the audience doesn’t know what the musicians defined perfection is. The musician has gone over the material so many countless times that the music comes out almost without thought, which is a doubled edge sword. If you are so fluent in the language of music that you can speak in your chosen voice with little thought, that means while on stage you have plenty of time to think about the audience. This can either be the worst nightmare of a performer or the greatest gift. One of two things will happen, the greatly dreaded and always talked about stage fright, or an intimate connection between the audience and performer.
You have arrived at your seat pointed in the direction of the stage. You might have come right after a hard day of work with your bad day still roaming without direction bumping into the walls of your mind. You might have come with your friends and you are chatting and laughing about current events. However when you sit at your chair, your mind begins to change direction. With a vague excitement for what’s to come you wonder will this be a good performance? You might even wonder who is this that I’ve come to see?
The time has come. Everyone is there for a purpose. The audience there to be entertained. The performer there to present what they have been working on and to display themselves as part of the performance. And now the biggest question as the music begins: will this be a good performance?
What makes a performance good? Two things: One, the ability of the performer to properly and proficiently speak the musical language with a chosen voice, instrument or human voice. Two, the connection between the musician and the audience. If you cant speak the language nobody will want to listen. If you can speak the language but cant connect with the audience they might want to listen but not for very long. That connection is not easy to attain. The audience member must trust that the performer is leading them to relaxation and interaction on a purely intellectual level. It is an audible one way conversation, however a back and fourth conversation of the minds. If the musician has something interesting to say, the audience will mentally concur with what’s been said. Which then gives the musician permission to keep speaking. Then leading to more agreement and curiosity by the audience for what’s to come. A back and fourth between the two. What happens next is nothing short of magic itself. The energy of the room changes. Many musicians afterward describe these specific performances as “electric.” Once this connection is made during a performance these audience members have no idea what time it is on their watch because they don’t care. While every single molecule of air in this space simultaneously sings under the command of the musician, no person cares of the time being taken from their lives to listen. They are giving it without a thought. For that time the musician takes the audience by the hand to a place in their own mind. Fear, grandeur, sadness, happiness. It’s a journey from individuality to humanity as a whole. While on this journey time means nothing, space means nothing. The consequence after that journey is complete, is time and space become a bit more meaningful.