The One Painting Gallery

Imagine a gallery where there is one painting. You sit and admire it for a couple minutes. As soon as you start to get into it the painting vanishes. Reappearing in its place is a different painting. Again you admire it and at the inopportune time it disappears. This process is repeated. Then the viewing is over. You go home.

Did you really have the time to see a piece in depth on a personal level?

That’s what concerts can be like. As soon as you start to feel a piece it’s taken away from you. This give and take compounds itself. In the end a couple fleeting moments we’re remembered from the recital.

Now imagine a gallery where there is one painting. That’s it. This painting won’t disappear on you. It will patiently hang, waiting to be looked at. And not just a fleeting glance, but an intense stare into what every stroke has to say about the whole. You have a while. Get acquainted with this painting.

When you leave this gallery, will the one painting you saw be better than the five or six from the other? Not necessarily. What can be said is that you had more of a chance to develop a relationship with this painting, absorbing what it had to say to you, than the experience in the prior gallery.

That’s what we need in concerts: a chance to develop a relationship with the music that could continue outside of the half hour in the concert hall.

But how would this operate in a concert setting? One piece performed repeatedly? Interspersed with commentary, comments, questions? To some degree it seems stupid.

Though stupid enough to work?

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