David Lindley writes:
So now we come to the part about musicians having their psychic energy sucked out of them by being taped. That’s not my concept. That came from what I consider to be a uniquely reliable source, Grandfather Semu Haute, a Chumash Indian medicine man. My wife and I went to a talk given by Grandfather Semu and when we sat down and waited for him to begin out came the tape recorders. He told everyone to put them away, that people didn’t listen right when they recorded things, that they missed the best part of what went on.
I don’t care much whether people record our shows, but I do completely agree with that last sentence. How can a person give his attention to what is going on in the theater when s/he is concentrating on getting a recording done – e.g. checking the meters, looking for venue people trying to bust him/her etc…
Recording a show means that the person does not take an active part in the gathering that is going on right then and there, because they have to give their attention to the recording. At a lot of parties one can find guys that don’t interact – instead they film or photograph everything that’s going on. There is nothing wrong with that, but taking photos of a party is not the same as partying, in the same way that recording a concert is not the same thing as attending a concert. To make a good concert audience-participation is absolutely essential. Yes, we are professionals and will do a decent show, whether the audience is participating or not, but man we can fly if the audience wants us to and that only happens when they give us their attention.