A perennial topic that I discuss with my students examines the various roles in the performing arts. I might ask them, "What does it take to put on a concert? What are the jobs that have to be done?" I have my students list as many jobs that they can think of that they believe contribute to a musical experience. The lists can get quite exhaustive and often include responses that have never occurred to me. Their lists often include things such as: instrumentalists, directors, singers, dancers, lights, mics and amplifiers, publicity, costumes even ushers. My conclusion is that there are in fact three required jobs: composers, performers, and perhaps most importantly, audiences. I call it (with apologies to accountants everywhere), the CPAs of music. We all benefit from the creative genius of the master composers and the performances and recordings of the great performing artists. However, where would those composers and performers be without audiences?
And now here we are in the spring of 2020 with many of us working safely from our homes. How fortunate we are that this quarantine is happening in an age that we can continue at least some of the important work that we have to do. Imagine if this had happened only 20 years ago.
I am lucky that I can continue to practice music. I have access to a world class instrument that is located in a church building presently closed to the public. (Never in my life have I had so much uninterrupted practice time!) I have been able to practice and record music that is then distributed to an online audience. I am grateful that even while I cannot see or hear my audience, I know they may choose to listen to the music that I have prepared for them. It's not the same feeling as playing music in a room full of listeners, still, I am grateful in the knowledge that the recorded music may help another, and perhaps make them happy.