In The Same Room

The thing about music is it lives with people in the same room.

This is something fewer and fewer of us are mindful of in an era of Youtube and iTunes – music is a commodity available at just one click. And when your favorite ensemble lives in Stockholm or London or Los Angeles, it’s a necessary substitute.

There is value in that music. But it doesn’t live with you. Almost universally, my transcendent experiences with performers or ensembles haven’t happened while listening to their albums; they have happened while hearing them live. (The Singers Unlimited being the obvious exception for me – though my early listenings are just as connected in my memory to a particular place.)

Choirs are uniquely well suited to reach people in live performance. We travel well, we don’t require a lot of equipment, we use words that people recognize. Choir conductors and singers are black belts in human connection.

I think, then, it’s our duty to remember to get in the same room with as many people as we can. Yes, make recordings; yes, film your concerts; yes, spend as much time in rehearsal as you can.

Then, as often possible, let’s get out there and remind the world that music lives with people in the same room.