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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001064.txt from 2000/07

From: Bill Hausmann <bhausmann1@-----.com>
Subj: Re: [kl] Listening for what's wrong
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 19:17:43 -0400

At 08:06 PM 7/29/2000 EDT, LeliaLoban wrote:
>But seriously, what is it about the act of playing that makes us imagine it
>sounds better when we're doing it than it sounds when we listen to the tape
>later? Are we just too distracted by breathing and moving our fingers, the
>way car drivers get distracted when they try to use a cell phone and
navigate
>at the same time? In that case, why do we kid ourselves that our playing
>sounds *better* than it really is? I have the impression from what other
>people write that this kind of optimism is fairly universal and that the
>recording generally comes as a letdown. Why don't we imagine we sound
>*worse* than we really do? I've never had a *good* surprise from a tape
>recording of myself. I finish making a tape, and I think, "This time I
>nailed it," and then I listen to the playback, and -- "BOO!" -- the
>slobbering toothy monster jumps out from closet again. "Boo! Hisssss!
>Surprii-iise! Hahahahaha! Gotcha! Sheesh, you play like a crackhead
>gibbon." Does anybody here ever get "Hey, woo-hoo, I'm better than I
>thought!" surprises?
>
The big difference is that the live performance is ephemeral. The mistake
you make now is overwhelmed in the audience's mind by the shower of
beautiful and correct notes following it. Eventually, this occurs even in
your OWN mind and the mistake is completely forgotten, allowing you to
recall the performance with satisfaction. But when you listen to it on
TAPE, it is FOREVER! No matter how many times you rewind and play it
again, DAMN -- same mistake again! And, of course, you have NEVER made
that particular mistake before, but now it has been preserved for for your
perpetual aggravation. It does take some getting used to that, but I still
very much enjoy hearing my own performances, and I am getting more tolerant
of the errors. Fortunately for them, my friends usually only have to hear
them ONCE so they work more like the original live performances.

By the way, getting used to mistakes does not mean that it is not important
to work to eliminate them, but it DOES help reduce the extreme internal
pressure to play error-free, thus allowing one to play with more attention
to musical feeling as well as reducing stage-fright.

Bill Hausmann NEW ADDRESS: bhausmann1@-----.com
451 Old Orchard Drive http://homepages.go.com/~zoot14/zoot14.html
Essexville, MI 48732 ICQ UIN 4862265

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is too loud.

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