Last night I was at the Sydney Opera House (SOH), being a chorusmaster (mistress? *lol*) for Sydney Children’s Choir (SCC). We’re performing this weekend with the Sydney Symphony, a live performance of the soundtrack to the first film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Although we often perform in concerts in the SOH, we very rarely see it at the full-to-bursting capacity that we saw last night. People just love this movie. Even for those not obsessed with the Lord of the Rings phenomenon, you’ve got to admit it’s all rather exciting. And although the kids have to sit very still for a very long time and only get to sing for a few short minutes in total, they’re still all excited about it.
The whole experience has got me thinking, about two issues in particular. The first is sound fidelity.
Performances in the SOH are not usually amplified, but for this performance everyone is miked. I haven’t talked to any of the ‘experts’ about this, but it occurred to me that this might have something to do with the sound of the orchestra needing to match the sound of the film. When I went to see Philip Glass, Michael Riesman and Kronos Quartet perform a live soundtrack to that old Dracula film, I found the slightly muffled sound of the film’s dialogue to be occasionally obliterated by the beautiful clarity of the live music. It was frustrating to miss the odd bit of dialogue. I’m sure it could be fixed quite easily. (In this weekend’s Lord of the Rings performances, the entire film is surtitled. Just in case. But that’s a whole other blog post’s worth!)
The other thing I got thinking about was profile. To be precise, my own profile. Imagine my surprise as I’m walking away from stage door, having just said my goodbyes to my colleagues, to be accosted by three complete strangers. They said they saw me on stage and wasn’t it all really exciting and do I do that all the time for my job and so on and so forth. They asked what other kinds of music I perform, so I told them about my Philip Glass single and they downloaded it then and there, on their phones, standing in the street. It felt strange to me, that kind of attention.
They recognised me because of my hair, which is currently a rather bright shock of red. If I’d been wearing the beanie I’d brought in case of cold, or if I’d still been sporting my old colour, I’m sure they wouldn’t have recognised me.
Am conceding that looks are important, for sales if nothing else!