Losing that Sense of Awe

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gzent, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    OK, this is probably for the heavy weights out there:

    When did you lose that sense of 'awe' when listening to live performances?

    Here's the thing, recently I've heard some professional regional groups that 5-10 years ago I would have been in awe of their talent and performance.
    However, since I've become more serious about my playing the last couple years I find myself disappointed after many concerts.

    Now, its not that I don't respect the musicians, because they have certainly achieved more than I have, I just don't get that 'Wow!' feeling like I used to.

    Can any of you relate to this?

  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    I'm not a pro! I might be a bit "heavy", (although my height hides it well).

    But..with regards to the sense of "awe".... I had a conductor one time who said that he HATED to listen to music on the radio or to recordings at home. Not just commercial, 'pop', top 40 music, but almost ANY music. His reasoning was that he found it too easy to hear all of the errors that were being made! (He used to do a lot of adjudication).

    Now... I don't subscribe to this philosophy at all; although I might hear the odd thing that makes me go "awk", I still enjoy listening to music.

    I do find, that I hear more things that are "off" than I did before I started learning to play music.

    Edit: I should add, however, that I actually appreciate well played music even MORE (now that I know first-hand how dang difficult and complex a task it is).
  3. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I agree with Tootsall.

    When I was younger, I was very good at pointing out how lousy EVERYBODY was. You know what I mean. Yeah, Maynard can play high, but he's not as good as Doc. or vice versa. Bill Chase can play high, but so what? So can Lew Solof and he plays better licks with BST.
    In short, I was in awe of no one. I grew up in Detroit and there was an abundance of hot trumpet players, even in my own house.(dad)

    It was after I became proficient on the trumpet that I BEGAN to be in awe of the great players. I appreciate more than I can say how great these guys are. Do they make mistakes? Yes, sometimes. You hear them live in a club or at a concert and they flub a note...only because they are putting everything into the gig and they take chances that I wouldn't even attempt.

    It's like my father...the older I got, the smarter he was.
    Well the better I got on the trumpet, the more amazing some of the guys became. (or grew up to be)

    It was not just jazz either.
    Sure, listen to Doc...chills, Maynard...awe, Pat Hession...wow.
    But listen to what Manny plays on the Monette video, what a brilliant sound, crystal clear and POWERFUL. How can you not be in awe?
    Listen to Manny Axe on piano, Yo-Yo- Ma on cello, Perleman on the violin.
    I am in awe everytime I see or hear them play.

    So the answer for me is that I never lost a sense of awe listening to them, I gained one!

    Don't forget that in listening to a live performance, all the "tricks" of the recording studio are missing.

  4. old geezer

    old geezer Pianissimo User

    Dec 26, 2004
    schilkeb6- I couldn't agree with you more, the older I get the more I appreciate all styles of music [yes,even country]. I now understand what it takes to be a top-line musician and I have even more respect for the "studio guys". throw a chart down in front of somebody and say play it in f-now play it in Eb - now play it in -you get the picture. I was such a music snob when I was younger and now I am in all of any one who can support themselves by making music. I am awe of plenty of some local part-timers also. old geezer Dave
  5. FlugelFlyer

    FlugelFlyer Piano User

    Dec 15, 2003
    Palos Park, IL
    Even though I don't play trumpet actively anymore, I've been around great trumpeters and great performers for so long (via e-communications and such) that I can literally take the best live performance any trumpeter has ever made and point out at least three glowing mistakes or hacks in the performance, if not more. What's the point? Exactly, there is no point. It's not about the hacks or the mistakes; both are part of what make up the human experience and bring the human aspect to live performance, and quite frankly, let the one without sin cast the first stone.

    Also, as has been mentioned above, learn to appreciate all forms of music for what they are and the talent involved. You sing choral chamber music? Do you think those unsigned death metal grunters lack talent? Fine, go show the world how great a choral singer can fill the shoes of a grunter [...and tell me when you can't do either anymore].
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Dave, you said a couple of things that really rang with me. One was about country music. Country recordings these days are all produced so well that if comes out of Nashville and makes it onto the radio, it's probably going to be a pretty danged good recording.

    The other thing that I have started to notice, particularly from the aforementioned country recordings, is just how danged good the studio musicians are. The trend in Nashville for years from what I have heard, is that the studio will hire a studio band, they will come bang out the tracks, then the artist will record over the top of that. Some of the nuance and just flat out neat little things that these studio musicians are doing are incredible, particularly the drummers - musicians that I have really taken to noticing since I started drumming a couple of years ago. The idea that some of these things are happening on the first or second run through in the studio is staggering.

    I guess in some ways maybe I have lost some of the awe for the top pros - I hear things in recordings now that I never really noticed years ago, but at the same time, I am also acutely aware of the moments of pure genius that are captured on the recorded tracks, and in those moments, the nitpicky things really don't matter.
  7. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

    Dec 6, 2003
    I too find those moments of awe come less and less often. However, when I'm impressed now the appreciation is much deeper and meaningful. Now it's more than thinking a double G is impressive. Now it's a great lick in a solo or perfect tone and intonation on a long tone(check out the long tone at the end of Wayne Bergeron's O Holy Night...I think that's almost as impressive as the high stuff).
  8. Mzony

    Mzony Pianissimo User

    Nov 14, 2004
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I still have that sense of awe when I hear something really great.

  9. ubieday

    ubieday New Friend

    Aug 30, 2005
    Listen to the last movement of Mahler 7 with Bernstein conducting, Phil Smith playing principal, I think on DG label. There's some awe for you.
  10. FlugelFlyer

    FlugelFlyer Piano User

    Dec 15, 2003
    Palos Park, IL
    Great observations about Country from a rythmic standpoint. I'm just listening to "All Jacked Up" from Gretchen Wilson, and that's not an easy song for the bass player from a mental standpoint. Might not be the most challenging song to listen to, but it's one of those songs where if you think about what you're playing, you're behind, and you'd better be in sync with the drummer. Nashville is a tough scene for country studio musicians much like LA is for TV studio or NY for Broadway, and only the best of the best make it there. Again, it's one of those things to which I'd respond, "Think I'm kidding?"

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