Those people who have requested a photo pass for the upcoming tour will still receive one, but I am not likely to offer that again in the future. If you want to take it up with the local promoter that’s another story, and of course you can always sneak photos, but I don’t think I want to enable this desire to take photographic images while one is supposed to be listening. I strongly believe that staring at a musical performance through a camera, or even just experiencing the performance with your mind set on taking photos is a bad way to experience music.
For the same reason I also have a problem with the iPod Video. The iPod had brought people back to LISTENING after MTV had killed the music in favor of moving pictures – eyes overrule the ears in western cultures. Now, I suppose many people will watch video instead.
I can’t tell people how they should experience a musical performance, but I also don’t want to be the one that makes it possible to water down the experience by taking or thinking about photos. Fine line to walk. Probably something that will have to be continually evaluated.
From an email I reseived this morning:
It makes me wonder how people do both (taking a photo and watching/listening to a performance). I’ve often wondered what they came away with from the performance.
The essence of wanting to hear the music should happen first. This has a totally different involvement, commitment level as an audience participant.
Photographs (I love photographs) cannot capture the memories of what you hear, feel, touch or smell. Nor can it compete with the spirit of first hand experience.
Of course on the other hand people could point to THIS:
Then he soon found out that, aside from being an entertaining form of creative expression, (photography) can also be used as “witnessing” practice—colors are more vivid, light and shade dance, ordinary scenes reveal their stories, nature bares its details, people are more expressive, awareness expands.
But I do think that quote relates to awareness of seeing, not awareness of seeing-while-trying-to-listen.
I would suggest to people wanting to take photos that they should pick the length of one or two songs as the timeframe for concentrating on seeing. Maybe pick a song you don’t like so much, for example, and use that one song to really put your attention into seeing and taking photos. Then, please do return your attention to your ears.