I really believe live music is an art form, separate from recorded music. It’s weird to think that some more famous DJ/Producers could do a live festival set with someone who looks slightly similar, hit the play button on a pre-mixed set, wave their arms in time with the music, and nobody would think anything is amiss.
While this obviously is not indicative of all artists, it is a worrying trend in many genres of music, the devaluing of the live performance from paying to see your favourite bands make great music to ‘watching’ the latest studio album be played note for note. There’s a few reasons for this, including the advent of in-ear click-tracks that mean that while all the lighting is timed right – every single time that song is played whether it be Paris, Hong Kong or Brisbane it will be played exactly the same – but that’s a discussion for another time. My point is, when I pay nearly 100 bucks to see my favourite bands I don’t want a mega-widescreen version of the live DVD I could have bought a few months down the track for 15 bucks.
I want a unique musical experience; I want to see great musicians creating great music, maybe even on the fly (crazy I know). Not only for my sake, but for the sake of the band that has Australia as the last leg of their tour and have played their first hit literally thousands of time the exact same way. If you want a perfect example of the joy of music on the fly, check out someone like Reggie Watts, The White Stripes or any jazz band ever.
So why am I waffling about the joys of creative flow? It comes down to two types of decisions that I think underpin both types of live music I mentioned. Aesthetic and Disruptive decisions. When the drummer decides to do 16th notes on the fill into the 2nd chorus instead of the 8th notes that were in the recording is an aesthetic decision, on the outside its impressive but really it didn’t disrupt anything, it was just mildly cooler. When the lead guitarist, even though the band hasn’t rehearsed it this way, wants to bring the whole band ‘down’ for his solo just because he feels it – that’s a disruptive decision. A decision which was made on the fly, risky with unknown consequences.
Have you ever made a decision like that in life? Maybe you quit your job, maybe you moved out, maybe you pursued a relationship, maybe you tried starting a business. Maybe you have never made a truly disruptive decision, one that majorly changes your life and makes you nervous, excited and fearful all at once. I get it, it’s hard – but think of the countless stories of people who had money and power and who made a disruptive decision to give it away and do something real with their lives. Can you imagine the people around them who tried to persuade them against it? Can you imagine how uncomfortable it would feel?
I don’t believe life is meant to be lived by following the next logical decision after the other. It is a process of risk and excitement – it is not predictable and typical. Maybe you're living your life in safe mode - if that's the case I urge you today to step out and try something new (or leave something old). Disrupting your life could be just the thing you need to action real change, and be the person you truly desire to be.
Liam has a passion for all things visual, aural and tactile. As a regional assistant for Marist Youth Ministry, his role involves real-world youth ministry as well as graphic design, videography and web-stuff. Finding a home in the Church has pushed him to move other young people into a place where they can encounter Jesus Christ, and find a home in the Church as well. When he's not making a sweet multimedia, he enjoys bush-walking, swimming and all manner of nature related activities. He also digs good mobster films, bad kung-fu movies and kind-of-all-right westerns.