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What is a good performance.

selby 09 Sep 12 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,FloraG 09 Sep 12 - 05:37 AM
kendall 09 Sep 12 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,FloraG 10 Sep 12 - 03:51 AM
The Sandman 10 Sep 12 - 04:01 AM
Johnny J 10 Sep 12 - 04:05 AM
Leadfingers 10 Sep 12 - 07:23 PM
Mavis Enderby 11 Sep 12 - 02:49 AM
selby 11 Sep 12 - 02:56 AM
Hamish 11 Sep 12 - 03:28 AM
GUEST 14 Apr 14 - 05:31 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Apr 14 - 05:49 AM
Steve Shaw 14 Apr 14 - 07:01 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Apr 14 - 07:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 14 Apr 14 - 07:35 AM
Mo the caller 14 Apr 14 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,Patsy 14 Apr 14 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Claire M 14 Apr 14 - 02:43 PM
Mo the caller 14 Apr 14 - 06:02 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Apr 14 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,roisin white 14 Apr 14 - 06:59 PM
treewind 14 Apr 14 - 07:14 PM
The Sandman 15 Apr 14 - 02:15 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Apr 14 - 04:39 AM
Joe Offer 15 Apr 14 - 05:24 AM
Paul Davenport 15 Apr 14 - 05:29 AM
Musket 15 Apr 14 - 05:39 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Apr 14 - 05:42 AM
BrendanB 15 Apr 14 - 10:11 AM
Ebbie 15 Apr 14 - 12:34 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Apr 14 - 12:51 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Apr 14 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 15 Apr 14 - 08:48 PM
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Subject: What is a good performance.
From: selby
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 04:40 AM

What makes a good performance, if you play what makes you feel good whilst or after playing
If you are in the Audience what makes you Tingle and think WOW.
THIS IS A POSITIVE THREAD NO NEGATIVITY PLEASE.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 05:37 AM

Selby
One that pleases the audience ( including the performer as part of the audience). This may seem a trite answer but too many performers sing what they want to sing/ play without thinking about this. For too many its a ' look how clever I am ' rather than what will work where. Selby - I'm in the danger zone of being negative - but different audiences will like different things.
Were doing a concert for a church group near Xmas. ( not our usual audience). We have some easy carols sorted and some xmas songs - all for joining in - and I'll add a few jolly tunes. We have a few word sheets as well. If anyone has done anything similar I'd be pleased to hear their suggestions.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: kendall
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 06:12 AM

I found that if it pleased me, it also pleased the audience. We feed off each other. It's called "Energizing the thought."

Most people who came to my gigs knew what they were in for and I tried not to disappoint them.I always felt that it was the audience that made the performer, not the performer.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 03:51 AM

We have a much more diverse paying audience. ( barn dance/ dance club/ pubs/ active retirement/ hobby groups and now a church). However, even in a session I think pleasing the audience is key.
In the morris side I was in we regularly included a few songs that we know everyone in the pub ( a different pub each week) would know and be able to join in. The side would find drunken sailor a bit repetitive, but it went down really well with ( non folk )customers in the pub, and we usually got asked back the following year. A number of the landlords wouyld say that they didn't mind the dancing - but it was the music they really looked forward to.
Me- I like really morbid tunes in odd keys - but they are hard to listen to, so I mostly do jolly tunes in G.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 04:01 AM

well. you generally know when you are doing it,a bit like making love.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Johnny J
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 04:05 AM

Everything seems to be about performance these days...
:-(


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 07:23 PM

IF you are 'performing' in front of an audience , then you DO need to put on the best performance you can Johnny !
And you always know when you have done a good job !


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 02:49 AM

What FloraG and Kendal said. The positive feedback between performer and audience is vitally important.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: selby
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 02:56 AM

I think the key is to crab your audience early, get the positivity flowing, I cant remember who it was but a well known musician played a chorus tune, it went down a storm a good night both ways was then guaranteed.
Keith


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Hamish
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 03:28 AM

engagement


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 05:31 AM

Coming across from a thread about bad performance, I notice there's quite a bit missing here in terms of how to build a good performance.
The classic mould has three peaks to it: grabbing their attention, confirming it, and the blow-off. The first is subtle and relies on the performer empathising with the audience, so they want to listen. They've come there already, so it's a given, but what you need to do is establish the conversation referred to above. That's one of the big purposes of nattering between pieces, to bring the audience with you. A heckler can even be an asset! Follow that with a couple of pieces which tell them more about what you're doing, and then another taster to confirm their attention. If you're having a break, do that now, and have another to pick up where you left off. The next pieces are more work-a-day, then you build to the blow-off, the showpiece. That may mean a false crest, a lesser piece, and then the hit, designed to leave the audience buzzing and feeling "I'll have some more of that". And then there's an encore piece needed...
So you need one piece they'll really love, three or four they'll feel great about, and a fistful doing what you want to say to them. And a sense of humour.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 05:49 AM

I would not be so keen on the accolade "performer" as I would "musician" "singer" or "historian". Look what damage the "performance" ethos has done to rock music.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 07:01 AM

I agree with that. I also deliberately try to focus on playing just for myself and the other blokes when playing in a session down the pub. If the pub-goers like it, that's a nice bonus all round, but I'm primarily, maybe exclusively, there to interact with the other fellers in the hope that the sum is at least as good as the parts. I speak only of sessions here, of course, not stage gigs.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 07:12 AM

The essence of being a Singer of Traditional Songs is respecting your sources and not performing. The best of it always happens when you don't give a damn and let the song do its thing. Too much folk is about engaging with audiences, but personally I welcome a modicum of reserve and mutual indifference in a performance situation - let the audience do the work, you know? When the audience don't get it, then I know I might be onto something... or when I sing when I'm out on my bike and a Ballad becomes an act of prayerful meditation and it lives / breathes in your soul and not just a means of entertainment.

The best performances are when you don't even know you've got an audience, like a few weeks ago when I was singing Harry Cox's The Crabfish (nabbed of the VOTP Good People Take Warning CD) whilst clearing out a blocked drain in the backyard and I got a round of applause from the bloke next door.

If ever you're singing a Traditional Song and find yourself moved to start engaging with the audience, then just think John England.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 07:35 AM

I think it is pretty subjective really. Like good music or good literature. OK - There are some things that really are better than others, technically, but if the audience do not like them, what is the point? Self satisfaction and a sense of achievement is all well and good but you can get that in the comfort of your own home without disturbing others!

Incidentally, Selby, if you really want to crab your audience maybe you should try the Harry Cox song just mentioned by Jack B? :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Mo the caller
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 08:29 AM

I agree with Flora and others who have said that it depends who your audience is.
Even in a pub session - you might go into one pub and find it packed with people who aren't there to perform but will happily join in with Whiskey in the Jar, and listen fairly quietly to a few tunes. So everyone has a great time belting it out. Then the next week the same pub is empty except for a few musicians sharing less familiar tunes in a thoughtful mood. And you have a great time playing and listening.
But if you'd switched what you played no-one would have enjoyed either.

Same as a dance caller. For the general public, if they get up to dance, seem to be enjoying and are not hopelessly confused (though a little bit of confusion and recovery at some point in the evening proves I'm not boring them) then I enjoy it too. At club I'm more ambitious - try new dances, aim for most of them to work (with a bit of 'recovery' too). As with songs it is the whole evening that counts more than any one part of it.

Although I wouldn't want folk to be commercialised I still think performance is important. Someone must have sung ('performed') Seeds of Love in a way that caught the attention of Cecil Sharp's source.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 02:33 PM

To me a really good performance is when you thoroughly enjoy a show or gig from beginning to end and it has you talking about it for a long time after. Personally for me it helps if there is a reasonable selection of familiar songs or tunes sprinkled throughout in between the less familiar ones to keep the interest going and hopefully ending on something familiar.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: GUEST,Claire M
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 02:43 PM

Hiya! Jolly tunes eh?? Spiffing !! For me, it'd be, I don't know what you'd call it.

Say there's 2 concerts. 1 has a song in it concerning a man who hates his job.

The other has a song about a woman who falls for a man who is actually a woman, the Queen of the Fairies, but the mortal woman doesn't find this out till later & by that time she's so much in love it doesn't matter, & her husband is so fed up w/ waiting for her to come back that he marries a mortal woman who turns out to be horrible, & in despair he kills himself.

Which 1 do you think I'll enjoy more ?? The 2nd of course.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Mo the caller
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 06:02 PM

Yes Patsy. A mix of familiar and new.
When I'm dancing and the band plays tunes I know, and struggle to play, and they bring them to life with harmonies or the way they play them, it makes me listen. Then when they play a new tune I really notice it.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 06:28 PM

By the way I never thought I's agree (albeit only in part) with Sweeney O'Pibroch either.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: GUEST,roisin white
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 06:59 PM

Forget the word Performance!!one should sing/play /dance as if one enjoys doing so, no matter who is in the room/audience. They may have paid at the door, so have variety, enthusiasm, engagement etc, etc, all helps. R


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: treewind
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 07:14 PM

I can't claim originality on this, but I read somewhere that a good performance is when people don't say how well you played (or sang) but how beautiful the music was.

"If ever you're singing a Traditional Song and find yourself moved to start engaging with the audience, then just think John England."
Oh, I don't know about that. Some of the old boys only sang at home, it's true (Walter Pardon) but I think there was always a bit of showmanship creeping in here and there, especially if they went to the pub to sing.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 02:15 AM

treewind,spot on,an example I recall was the Suffolk Singer/ coalman Ted Chaplin, singing the trombone song.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 04:39 AM

Someone must have sung ('performed') Seeds of Love in a way that caught the attention of Cecil Sharp's source.

Hmmm... The idealist in me believes that Mr England overheard some other gardener singing it only the day before and was free-styling his variant just as Mr Sharp was passing.

I can, of course, think of dozens of Traditional Singers who were keen & consummate performers - my hero Davie Stewart, for example, was a master craftsman in all respects & once(according to legend) busked the audience as they queued to attend his performance at the Cecil Sharp House. A man of great skill, craft & cunning, listen to him at length, c. 1957, over at the Alan Lomax Archive.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 05:24 AM

Jack Blandiver says: my hero Davie Stewart, for example, was a master craftsman in all respects & once(according to legend) busked the audience as they queued to attend his performance at the Cecil Sharp House.

What a great story!

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 05:29 AM

Sam Larner as interviewed by Charles Parker … completely engaged with the listeners, introduces songs, invites audience participation and was altogether the consumate showman!


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Musket
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 05:39 AM

When I was in bands, my idea of a good performance was a song or set of tunes where the band started and finished at the exact same time. Everything inbetween was gravy.

A good performance as a punter is when it meets your expectations. When it exceeds your expectations, it makes the enjoyment of life music so much sweeter.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 05:42 AM

"...invites audience participation and was altogether the consummate showman!"
True to an extent Paul, but one of the aspect of Sam's performance was that each time he sang the song, it was as if he was singing it for the first time - thaat is was a first-time-out experience.
I had a very spooky experience once when I visited a club with a friend I have always admired as one of the most skillful singers I have ever heard.
He sang a ballad I had heard him sing half a dozen times and it was literally stunning - it left me with a lump in my throat, is was so moving.
When I mentioned it to him on the way home, he said he was not happy with his performance - the song had so moved him emotionally that he thought he had lost technical control of it - he hadn't, but not the point.
I believe the secret of a good performance is to make the song work for yourself - if it works for you, it works for the listener.
As long as you have done your technical homework beforehand your listeners will follow you over a cliff.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: BrendanB
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 10:11 AM

I totally agree with Jack Blandiver's view. Only perform stuff that you believe to have merit, do your best to do justice to it and the rest is other people's subjective response to what you do. At sessions join in when you can, don't show off and only start tunes when you are sure that you can finish them. I do not think of sessions as performance so do not care what listeners think.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 12:34 PM

Speaking from the point of view of an audience member, I would say that a good performance contains a number of common elements. To me, first and foremost, is that the performer be pleased and happy to be there- I'll forgive a lot when I know that. Then, good energy. Sighing or whining (whingeing) is a turn off. Don't complain about the boss or the venue or the audience or a band member. Then, a good mix of tunes and songs. Two thirds, say, can be original but present a number of them with which we, the audience, are familiar, if only to be able to gauge the P's skill or to complain of or compliment his/her version.

And never lose sight of where you are! A performer who compliments Anchorage audiences when s/he is in Juneau, say, does not make a good impression.


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 12:51 PM

I'm not sure how much of that I agree with Ebbie.
We spent a great deal of time with singers like Walter Pardon in England and Tom Lenihan in Ireland - both superb performers (with a small p)
They could make a song work wherever they were- their songs fitted them like an old coat and it didn't matter where they were or who was listening.
We interviewed Walter once and asked him about how he made his songs work in front of an audience of strangers
He said, "I forget they are there"
He said he "saw his songs" while hie was singing them and in order to facilitate this he looked down his nose in order to cut the audience out.
Bosses, audiences, venues... never came into it - they weren't there - just the song
Now that I'm back to singing after all these years, it certainly works for me
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 03:51 PM

I always think it a good sign if the talking doesn't stop when you walk in the gents....


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Subject: RE: What is a good performance.
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 08:48 PM

one where you are booked up-front....

Paid on advance.

And the tip-jar is overflowing.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

never neglect to "bonus" the sound crew and clean-up, and door manager.


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