DisCONCERTing

I have attended concerts at BBC recording studios. Before the performance begins, the audience, members of the public, are asked to be very still and silent, so as not to spoil the recording or live broadcast. The audience is politely requested to be so silent that one feels that even the sound of breathing might disturb the event.

With the exception of one western classical music concert in Bombay, audience disturbance is well tolerated at concerts I have attended in India. Pepole arrive and leave the auditorium whenever they feel like. They chat and take photos and often mover from one part of the auditorium to another.

Once, I attended a musical performance that was being relayed ‘live’ on All India Radio. Unlike the BBC recordings and live broadcasts, the audience was far from placid. Throughout the event, there were disturbances as described above, but no one seemed in the slightest disconcerted .

But, all is no longer well with British audiences. Recently, I have been to a few classical music performances in London, at which there has been applause at inappropriate places in the music. An example of this is clapping at the end of a movement of a symphony, rather than at its ending. Maybe, orchestras are getting used to this, but I find it a bit disconcerting.

A bigger audience

During the 1970s and ’80s, I used to take pictures on my film camera using colour slide (diapositive) film. To enjoy these, they were best projected onto a good quality screen

Setting up the projector was quite a nuisance. Finding an audience amongst my friends was not always easy and, if they were willing to watch my slideshows, keeping them awake was also often difficult.

Turning the clock forward to the present era of digital cameras and the internet, the situation has changed. First of all, pictures may be easily uploaded on to the internet. Secondly, the existence of social media websites allows a far larger potential audience for one’s photos than ever before. Pictures can be posted on websites which are viewed by those with special interests or on others, like Instagram and Facebook, which allow the non specialised viewers as well as experts to see the images.

A wonderful thing about uploading one’s photos is that there are opportunities for viewers to comment on the pictures. This, I find to be very valuable. Other people point out things that I had not noticed or understood. I like this.

Unlike slideshows of the past, audiences can enjoy as many or as few of the uploaded pictures as they want without having to look at numerous slides politely whilst dying of boredom!