Art Works Blog

#2TweetorNot2Tweet: Dawn Hoke, The Gilmore

Gilmore artist Ingrid Fliter performs at the 2012 Gilmore Festival. Photo by John Lacko Photography

At the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, we strongly support live performances: whether by professional artists, amateurs, or children. A live performance is unique to a given moment in time. Every aspect of the performance plays a role: from the venue to the instrument(s) to the audience members.

Tweeting prior to, during intermission, and after a concert is certainly desired at our events. However, we discourage tweeting during live performances. It can be a distraction to other audience members but, more importantly, it is a distraction to the one tweeting. Once a tweet is sent, a silent conversation has begun. The person continually monitors to see if others have tweeted in response, and then responds to those tweets.

The personal concert experience has now been interrupted, not just by tweeting, but by the opinions of others, impacting the individual’s connection to the live performance. For example, perhaps you’ve been enjoying the concert you’re hearing but others have not. Their opinions might affect the way you continue to hear or even listen to the concert.

Summarizing one’s thoughts about a live performance in 140 characters or less while a performance is on-going is akin to describing an accident before it’s over. The description would change multiple times, and something else would be happening during the description.

Live performances are unique unto themselves. Whether a full orchestra or a soloist appears on stage, audience members participate in an experience that cannot be repeated. The same artist could perform three times with the same program, even in the same hall, and there would be three different live experiences impacted by the instrument(s), the venue, and the audience.

To hear the music, to let it enter your head and reach your soul, to sense what the music would have you feel---that is the wonder of live music. Now that’s something to tweet about!

Dawn Hoke has been the Marketing/PR Assistant at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival (a non-profit organization located in Kalamazoo, Michigan) since 2000. Previously, she worked product development for a publishing firm for nine years.

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