The interesting thing about music is that a lot of people think it’s some sort of canned entertainment. It really is quite sad that people think this way. They look at live music involving musicians playing instruments in a live spontaneous environment as essentially indistinguishable from a CD.
When you pop a compact disc into your CD player, or you run a USB file, you are treated to the same music quality time and time again. There are no surprises. You can guarantee that you will get the same music at the same quality level on a very predictable basis. Unless there’s something technically wrong with your sound system, you can rest assured that the first time you play the music using digital playback technology, like USB, will be indistinguishable from the 1,000th time you play that file.
It’s very easy to see why people develop some sort of entitlement mentality when they are of access to this type of technology. It’s kind of like the same mindset we developed when we order stuff from Amazon. Amazon has made it so much easier to get seemingly esoteric products and merchandise from all over the world that we expect the rest of our life to operate on the same schedule as Amazon.
I’m sure I don’t have to spell it out to you why this mindset is wrong. Unfortunately, unless you are a very mindful person, that type of entitlement mindset creeps in. Even if you don’t mean to do it, it still does because if a certain part of your life has a tremendous impact on the other parts of your life, you start thinking that certain things must also apply across the board. This is how assumptions and expectations arise.
When it comes to live entertainment, it’s very easy for us to become victimized by our own unrealistic expectations. Not surprisingly, a lot of people would hire professional musicians, do nothing to create the right ambience, and expect top-notch performance. This is a serious problem because the perception of quality the audience members get is partly due to the professional skills of the musicians.
It accounts for a large fraction, but it’s still just a piece of the puzzle. It’s a large piece admittedly, but it’s still just a piece. You also have to take care of the ambiance, the logistics, the right understanding and execution of the things that are supposed to happen before, during and after the performance. This all adds up to the big and the overall experience of event goers. Sadly, a lot of people are completely clueless to this and rely solely on the prior reputation and musical proficiency of the musician.
What if I told you that even if you invited the most celebrated harpist in the world, drop that person into a totally chaotic environment with very bad audience performer interaction, and don’t be surprised that, despite his or her background and experience, the performer turns in a lousy show? This is a two-way street. Everything has to fit. You have to line up all your ducks properly; otherwise, it’s just not going to work out. Then, to turn around and blame the performer would be grossly unfair.