Everything in this Newsweek article is true. I say it in meetings all the time: we could sell a lot of music if only people promptly released newsworthy premieres instead of playing the same old stuff all the time. Why don’t we do it? I refer you to the Occam’s Razor of human behavior: Never ascribe to conspiracy that which can be explained by incompetence.
To be fair, a few smart people have done it, and successfully, too. Check out this stunningly beautiful single from the Kronos Quartet, playing an arrangement of a song by the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós. You might recognize the B-side.
Can’t help feeling that playing the ‘same old stuff’ is absolutely fine if it’s done in a less inaccessible, more inclusive and less snobbish way. When was the last time you saw a classical cd cover that made you sit up and take notice…?
Where has that article been all my life? Why can’t classical musicians be as “hip” as indie artists? I love the idea of walking away from the symphony hall with a download code in my pocket to go home and listen to the exact performance I just heard. Are we really so afraid of coughs, mess-ups, etc.?
I really hope more classical musicians decide to explore the possibilities of releasing digital-only recordings of their live performances. It would make for a much more intriguing music collection.
Thank you for passing that article along! What a great and inspiring read!