The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Orchestral Movements In The Dark …
October 31, 2006, 10:35 am
Filed under: Comment

armack orchestra

So last night I thought I’d be cultured and see the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra who were performing in Singapore. [Thanks Arun]

Even though I look like a football hooligan, I love doing this sort of thing, especially as the music has more drama, panache and power than the average Metallica concert. [Even the tuning up prior to the concert gives you a sense of anticipation/excitement most bands would kill for]

Anyway, the thing I found the most interesting was that after each movement, the audience did not clap.  Nothing.  Not a sound.

You could see the confusion on the faces of the musicians …

Had we played badly?  Did people not like us?  Were we playing to an audience of the deaf?

However, they had nothing to fear, because the concert was magnificent … the thing they had to understand was that quite often in Asian society, they will only applaud at the end of concerts because culturally, it is not ‘the done thing’ to …

1. Interrupt [which they would feel clapping ‘mid-musical movement’ would be]

2. Encourage [because it is not ‘done’ to express a viewpoint until the individual has finished their performance [be it musical or presentation]

In the end, everyone was happy because the audience went wild with applause … calling the orchestra back to the stage 3 times [which probably came as a huge relief to the musicians] … and not one mobile phone went off during the whole concert – which is the ultimate sign of respect, ha!

However the real lessin here [which alot of Western organisations could do with learning] is that even though we’re all human, unless you understand how different cultures operate, you could end up walking away poor, disappointed or not achieving your full potential, all because your expectation levels were based on personal experiences, rather than cultural reality.

10 Comments so far
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Another shock.
First you prove you have the ability to get others to experience strange moments on their business trips and now you talk about going to orchestral concerts. Will you never stop shocking me? (Great insight into the cultural differences of audiences. You or your LP friends?)

Comment by Pete

Very true. You would expect that people would talk about that kind of thing before these concerts!

I cant imagine Metallica playing in Singapore though.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Hey … Slayer just played here and they make Metallica look like babies!

Comment by Robert

Really? Slayer in Singapore?!
I bet Raining blood went down well!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

is it a prerequisite for all planners to like shit music? at least slayer have better song titles than your beloved status quo.

Comment by andy

I like hugely different types of music… whats your definition of good (and bad) then Andy?

Im intrigued!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

simple. if rob likes it, its shit – or worse, its something he played on which means its doubly shit.

Comment by andy

Yes, but claiming Status Quo or Chesney Hawks to be shit is like claiming the pope likes god.

I want band names or at least genres! Cmon 🙂

Comment by Rob Mortimer

sorry rob, i am taking the 5th on this.

Comment by andy

Pff. Get out clause!
I may have to order a US government style crackdown on music critics who wont name names!


Comment by Rob Mortimer

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