I am a reporter at heart. I like to share information and experiences with others for many reasons –perhaps I find the information important, relevant, quirky, or ironic, etc. And the experience may have been moving, beautiful, insane, funny or touching. If I learned or felt something because of it, I figure others might appreciate it for the same reasons.
In many ways, that is also the essence of Facebook’s popularity. (I’m a big sharer there!) We ‘sharers’ all want to share an experience with others. It is the source of all human creativity – communicating something – a message, a story, a fact, and insight, a statement. We do it in all forms – the written word, art, theater, film, music.
My parents had a plaque on our family cottage’s wall that read, “Shared sorrow is half sorrow. Shared joy is double joy.“ But when the experience is shared second hand, whether it be a photo of a beautiful sunrise, a video of an event, a documentary of a life, or a description in a book, you can come close to capturing the experience, but you can never capture it all.
We share, and then the receiver uses their ability to comprehend, imagine and feel to fill in gaps the medium it’s delivered on leaves out. I can say ‘The waves were gently lapping at my feet” and if you’ve ever had that experience, you can envision it and almost feel it from memory. But only almost.
So after attending a particularly magical concert the other night I reviewed the videos I took of it the next day and realized there was no way to truly capture what went on in that room that night. It was the cumulative effect of every interaction, of all the senses, of the energy in the room that can not be transferred to another person who was not physically there. A video can show the essence, and that can indeed be moving, but it can’t completely feel the energy and the emotional waves that filled that room.
The next day I took pictures of a grove of cherry apple trees in bloom. Again – I looked at the pictures and saw some of the beauty and wanted to share that (and did) with Facebook friends. But it didn’t capture what it felt like to be surrounded by these blossoming trees with their long languid branches gracefully arching out. It didn’t capture the birds singing, the warmth on my back on this first real Spring day, the memories conjured up when I saw two young lovers kissing under a tree, or how the grass felt on the soles of my feet. Those are the differences between seeing a picture or video and experiencing something together in person.
I have always valued hearing musicians live. A Forst Inn patron, Mike Morris, said The difference between experiencing music live versus watching a video is like "the difference between seeing a picture of the Grand Canyon and standing on its rim.” Blues musician Joe Moss put is even more colorfully when he said, “It’s like the difference between pornography and the real thing.” One is really just a poor substitute for the other.
So I am grateful to be able to bring exceptional live performances people in our area. There are many Sundays in the Pub where you can feel everyone’s rapt attention and the energy between the singer/songwriter and the audience. In an era of growing isolation from one another and extreme individuality (You sit and watch your videos on your laptop, and I’ll sit across the room and watch what I like on mine.), we are all sharing this real experience together.
And now, we’ve begun live-streaming the middle hour of some of the Sunday Music in the Pub concerts. I feel that is our mission to bring this music to the area, but I know not everyone is close enough or freed up to come out on Sundays. So, while it may not capture the essence of the live experience – it captures the music, and connects artists and listeners in yet another way. You may not be standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon with us, but looking at a gorgeous picture of the Grand Canyon can still be very moving.
- Catherine 5/18/19