Someone else thinks concerts need changing

Someone else thinks concerts need changing


norman lebrecht

October 28, 2014

Esa-Pekka Salonen has brought in video artist Refik Anadol to ‘paint’ Walt Disney Hall with light and videos for “Visions of America: Amériques”, November 6, 7, and 9.

Nice idea.

disney hall relit

Just a bit late for Halloween.


  • David Hutchings says:

    Went to the performance this summer of ‘Prometheus: The Poem of Fire’ – by Scriabin. I have to say the light show – more akin to a disco than the RAH as we know it during Proms season – WAS spectacular, and tastefully creative.

    But the lighting show was an integral part of the artistic concept behind the work. Such things are mere gimmicks unless they somehow enhance the artistic experience. As soon as they become a distraction, I personally find them really quite painful!!!

  • David Ward says:

    I don’t think we’ll ever find a style of presentation that suits every piece and every member of the audience. However, it seems appropriate to experiment from time to time with different things, even if sometimes the experiment fails.

    I’m currently involved in a project that has short violin and cello duos by Scottish baroque composer James Oswald, which were inspired by native Scottish plants, alongside similarly inspired pieces by eight living composers – including Judith Weir (and indeed me). These are accompanied by suitable projections of the relevant plants. The ongoing tour of this programme seems to be a great success with audiences.

    On the other hand, would one really want projections to accompany Beethoven’s Opus 131? It MIGHT work, but …

  • Boring Fileclerk says:

    When I attend a great performance, I create paintings in my mind.

    • John says:

      Me, too. I wonder how many people think they need all these extras at a concert (cell phones, food, drinks, etc.) because they just find the music to be boring. I’m certainly not bored. Hardly ever, unless the performers just aren’t engaged, either (happens rarely, but it can happen). I’m always fully engaged at a concert, completely focused on the sounds coming at me, so all those extras would just distract and keep me from an intense interaction with the music I came (and usually paid a lot of money) to hear.

  • Ellingtonia says:

    Some years ago I saw Bang on a Can perform Brian Enos Music for Airports as part of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival. The performance took place in the Town Hall with the group on stage and a large screen as a backdrop. As the music started a video of an airport automatic sliding door was projected onto the screen and this continued for the whole of the 50 minute performance. It was weird and slightly disturbing just watching the doors open and close but I have to say that it worked for me.
    Bang on a Can did their own arrangemnent of the Eno piece and it was mesmeric, one of the best concerts I have ever been to.
    Not to everyones taste I agree, but certainly to mine.