Last night we played the opening party for the RiverRun Film Festival in Winston-Salem. The Millennium Center was all done up in white taffeta and strategically placed lights, and the band was beautifully lit with gels and draped fabric. It seemed most of the audience members were brandishing cameras, both video and still, which was appropriate for a film festival, I suppose. We were prepared…sharply dressed and ready for our close-ups.
This is not always the case. I was appalled to find myself recently on YouTube with bad hair and no lipstick, singing my heart out, looking too hippy for words. At that show I was blissfully unaware of a video camera. They’re everywhere! Even I have one on my cellphone. And I hate to say that it happens but sometimes the sound isn’t good at shows (which may cause one to sing out of tune) and that shows up on YouTube too. I’m not a big fan of reality TV. I want to look and sound better than I really do. Is that wrong?
I love live music. I make my living doing live music. When I listen to live music I don’t want or expect it to sound like the record. Spontaneous magic can happen when least expected. A former choir director once said, “Making a joyful noise is all well and good, but God deserves our best.” Amen to that! Music lovers, you deserve a transcendent noise…which is hard to capture on homemade live video. And the professionals? Please stop pointing those hi-def cameras at people! Do you see what it does to their skin?
I’m currently reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Teachings on Love” and am trying to envelope myself in compassion and loving kindness so that reality doesn’t make me want to slink off to a corner with a bag on my head. On the other hand, every time I link concert footage to my website or facebook profile I see a big increase in traffic. Breathing in…I express peace, happiness and light in my music. Breathing out…I close my eyes to the horror.
P.S. Facebook users, wanna see some new footage? This link will take you to The Blue Vine in Salisbury, where on April 9, 2010 Sam and I started the second set with a song that he wrote from the new record. Enjoy! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Salisbury-NC/The-Blue-Vine/175630192365?ref=ts#!/pages/Salisbury-NC/The-Blue-Vine/175630192365?v=app_2392950137&ref=ts