20 May 2016

Reflection on concert feedback

I walk off stage filled with adrenalin. I did carry out what I intended. I generated lots of energy but kept my arms free, and the contact with the body. Maybe I didn’t vary enough, but I felt the audience holding their breath when we took the music down as much as possible. I filled every tone with meaning. I smile, all in the music. Everyone is enjoying
the concert. The little mistakes here and there don’t matter. Or my ponticello line which should grow in strength, I fell out of it because I started questioning how to do it, just there in the middle of it. But no one noticed. And the choice of music, maybe the audience thinks it’s too nice?

I make my living out of playing strange music, sometimes difficult to listen to. But I still wish to move and touch the listener. I want to communicate. Of course I’m happy when someone like what I do, but I’m a professional so I can take it when someone doesn’t. But then, straight after this enjoyable concert experience, I end up next to the two audience members who really feel they need to talk to each other about how shitty the music was: “And so boring, classical and stuff. Yes, they were very clever, but you know….” The words hit me, and burn on further. I thought I was creating good feelings, but they were only waiting for us to stop. Someone nods towards me sitting next to them, they turn around and say: “You see, we came for the next concert really”. I was wrong. Is there a point in trying when I fail so immensely? What do they care? They want Yiddisher klezmer pop music, with a sexy lady singing about important stuff.

Not everyone can like what you do, says my husband.
I know, but how can I save the world with music and emotions if people don’t even listen? What about those who record fishes roaring under water at night?
Or those who think emotion in music are nonsense.
If I touch a few, is that enough?
The world is going down and here we are, playing our flute, while the people who bother to show up get bored. And quartertones are ugly.

It is their right to be bored, I’m just not used to getting it served with the cake and coffee afterwards. Especially since I thought the program was so kind and easy to like, only with a tiny few challenges in-between. But obviously, I don’t understand. And they didn’t want to be challenged. They just want a mirror image of what they already know they like. They don’t know that to develop they need these types of encounters.

I create encounters, and if you are open to them, even though you might get angry or bored, they change the knowledge of your world and give you a new musical horizon. I have to be able to deal with criticism, and I enjoy myself thinking that these two, without knowing or liking it, had an encounter at that concert.


I can’t only play for those who I know enjoy listening to me. Then, what would my mission be? And I honestly believe I can reach beyond their acquired tastes and touch them even though they have no preconceptions about the music. I explore something on a level not everyone will find interesting. And this is how it has to be. I want to create emotions, but I’m not a missionary. And I can’t play only nice music any more.