It wasn’t that long ago that I introduced the idea of using the Thunderclap Newman classic 1960s pop song – Something in the air into a performance involving a group of young people. The theme of the presentation was air pollution. We had no idea that we were predicting something that would soon happen.
Fast forwarding several months later, it is clear that there is indeed something in the air that none of us can afford to take for granted. The human race is currently involved in a process of reflecting and assessing things we can salvage from a lifetime’s worth of habits and practices.
Virtual live performance is already being touted as a way forward. Some organisations and individuals are in a secure enough position to capitalise on this model. There is bound to a lot of resistance. Many of us will eventually have to be dragged kicking and squealing into acceptance of this approach.
The individual or organisation that finds a way of dealing with latency and the delay that occurs when instrumentalists and singers perform together in real time on a video conferencing tool will make a mint.
In the meantime, we will need to get used to the idea of Wabi Sabi – a flow of exquisite imperfection, in live musical interaction. These are the breaks, as Kurtis Blow once memorably stated.