Music, thou art difficult

Sitting in the Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Center now, waiting for the BBC Scottish Symphonic Orchestra to start their performance. It’s called ‘The Rest Is Noise’. Virgin orchestra experience… Hope it’s fun! And hope I’ll make sense of it. Am sitting in the front stalls. That is a good thing, right?

The orchestra is an incredible creature. So many people, so many instruments. I think I am going to enjoy this. This… Symphony. An organic melding, a synthesis of talent driven by discipline. I like watching things where people come together to make something bigger than the sum of its parts. Some musician is making a very amusing noise. It is like a big fart. I chortle internally. Once again, like in Top Hat, it appears that there are not many people in their early twenties… Then again, normally I wouldn’t be here. Am only here cos there was a cheap cheap online offer and I decided, might as well. Lots of older couples. Dump the kids at home and head out eh? And wow! I just noticed there are seats behind the orchestra. I wonder what happens when the audience is behind… Is it voyeuristic? It is like sitting behind the musician. Maybe that is why the orchestra is appealing. Because the bulk of the audience is sitting behind the conductor, and in a sense you are in the viewing position of power. So one feels a sense of control, though it is from a distance, is control nonetheless. The efforts of people at your fingertips… Ah! Viewer pleasure. Film class, what have you done to me? There’s a technical term for it but it has slipped my mind now, to mean the pleasure of viewing. Something-scopic, I am quite sure.

The string instruments are so cool. Violins! Double basses!

I didn’t understand it. I struggle to comprehend… There is emotive response, and certainly the music is designed to foment certain responses but I do not ‘get’ the music like how I would a comedy or a novel. Hmm.

Nonetheless technical mastery is always appreciated. The orchestra handles their instruments like a well drilled company executing fire and movement… Consummate skill and ease.

It is short and I did not fall asleep!

I must say it is quite a visual spectacle to watch the orchestra.


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