I’m a sound guy. I got into this business over 30 years ago because I had some technical chops that lined up very nicely with the experience, training and education I received in music over the first 21 years of my life. A well written song, the artistry of the singer, the skill and soul of the instrumental performers… all are about the music. Audio is about the music. It’s a nice fit, eh?
I’m also a theatrical technician (i.e. stage hand) and that part of me enjoys the engineering and physical creation of spectacle… the lighting, pyro/cyro, wardrobe, video. Visual spectacle can stand alone without the music (or sometimes in spite of the music).
But the quote in this blog title kind of sums up an impression I’ve gotten over the last few years – that spectacle is too often being substituted for genuine, live music performance talent at worst, or sublimates the music at best. In some cases the spectacle enhances the music, but that has seemed an elusive goal for most performances.
Knowing that many fans respond to the visual more than the cerebral, I’ve been wrestling with concepts and words to express the dichotomy. I waited long enough that Robert Scovill did my homework for me and will doubtless get a better grade. Follow the link below.