Varèse 360°: but first, a rant.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

On the weekend I was blown away by the Edgard Varèse 360° gigs – yep, three tight little concerts of the complete works of Varèse. Awesome.

I want to write some nice things about it, so I’ll get this out of the way first. Enough with the crappy video projections, already. Nobody likes them. Critics don’t like them, the punters don’t like them, nobody’s bought a ticket to your gig to look at insipid video art, they’re there for the music and your ill-conceived attempts at visual decoration are a distraction at best, an embarrassment at worst. You’ve been trying this crap on for years and it hasn’t gotten any better. Give up. The people coming to your gigs are savvy enough about culture to know that your visuals just don’t cut it for a professional outfit. You may think you’re getting down with Yoof but if The Kids are lured to one of your concerts they’re already switched on to video and recognise crap when they see it. Stop it – you’re only hurting yourselves. It undermines the concert experience for the regulars and it convinces the newcomers that it’s as lame as they feared.

  1. I think this sort of thing is symptomatic of a lack of confidence. It always strikes me that the new music establishment seems pretty apologetic about what it does. Rather than projecting the sentiment of “Fuck you! This is Varèse and it’s fucking AWESOME!”, it works on the assumption that no-one will like this, so maybe if we tart it up with a lightshow people won’t notice they’ve been subjected to Modern Music.

    I also suspect that the current South Bank regime doesn’t actually really like music.

  2. Exactly.