Undoubtedly your experience, noted below, was entrancing. But it doesn't
quite suggest that the world would be better off if all of his amplified
work was discarded.
I've got a copy of Ella Fitzgerald's "The Intimate Ella" with just her
and a solo piano. It is simply wonderful, but it doesn't eliminate the
fact that I also love her work in front of a big band. And my large
collection of rock music isn't going anywhere, either.
One can draw endless analogies in other areas. The fact that there are
some wonderful, very simply made films doesn't preclude big-budget
movies with grand special effects from also being a very enjoyable
experience. I'm glad we have both.
Take any art pursuit - one can always argue that there is too much of
one type and not enough of another, but the world has always been full
of fads and fashions of the moment that leave a certain segment of the
population scratching their heads.
On Sat, 2009-05-09 at 03:05 +0000, Robert Greene wrote:
> This is surely a valid point, but perhaps not quite as much as it
> appears. I recall hearing Lightnin' Hopkins in Carnegie Hall.
> He was on some occasions inclined to extreme amplification, but this
> time he was "unplugged", as people came to say later.
> He came out with an acoustic guitar, sat down a little stool,
> and played and sang rather quietly and intimately some blues songs in
> the old style.
> This was one of the greatest concerts for sheer emotional impact I
> have ever heard. People settled into a trance, sitting absolutely
> still and listening carefully for every note and every word and
> inflection. It was soft--but the effect was overpowering.
> I think the effect was much greater actually than if he had sung into
> a mike and had a mike on his guitar to produce more "normal" volume
> Of course, circumstances alter cases, but this was an instance where
> even in a large venue--and Carnegie seats 2800 or so-- an intimate
> performance worked its magic.
> This was in the 1960s. Would people put up with this today?
> Perhaps not. But I can promise you that everyone there felt not that
> they had been imposed upon but rather that they had experienced
> something magical. When the concert was over, there was a moment's
> pause while the audience returned to earth. Then there was an enormous
> ovation that went on and on and on.
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Mitch Smith <mitch@...> wrote:
> > One also needs to keep in mind that a wide range of non-classical
> > couldn't even exist without amplification.
> > Take the "intimate" style of jazz singing that started becoming
> > in the 1930s with the advent of PA systems. Think of a singer
> > with a good size jazz band behind them - you'd never hear the singer
> > without the PA. They'd have to sing in a completely different style
> > be heard.
> > While the goal of the jazz singer is to sound "natural", the volume
> > balance between them and a large band requires a PA.
> > While I love completely acoustic music as much as anyone, I wouldn't
> > want to do without the Ella Fitzgeralds and Sarah Vaughans of the
> > or their modern counterparts. Ella with a vaudeville or opera voice
> > isn't quite the same.
> > In many ways a recording of this kind of music can be preferable to
> > live performance at a large venue with a mediocre PA.
> > - Mitch
> > On Fri, 2009-05-08 at 12:43 -0500, Tom Mallin wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > The reality Rob points out is an example of why restricting the
> > > definition of "concert" to an unamplified public musical
> > > isn't practical. Outside the classical music genre (and I'll throw
> > > into that genre the rest of the repertoire typical of community
> > > chorus, band, and orchestra performances), which accounts for much
> > > less than five percent of publically performed music by any
> > > you care to use, unamplified public musical performances are
> > > exceedingly rare these days, and getting rarer all the time. Rock,
> > > pop, and broadway stuff is mostly all amplified. The same is true
> > > folk and small jazz combo music. Occasionally you can find a large
> > > jazz band playing without amplification, but even that is getting
> > > rare.