juliet: (music)
I nearly didn't go to the Proms at all this year. Finally got round to it in the last fortnight: Copland/Adams/Adams last week with [livejournal.com profile] dogrando & [livejournal.com profile] catsgomiaow, and to Tchaikovsky & Prokofiev (though we left at the interval due to impending starvation) with my friend Elaine last night.

There are several good things about the Proms. One is that if you go up to the Gallery, you can lie down on the floor and close your eyes (should you so desire), which can be excellent for listening to music. This also means more freedom to move around a bit, rather than being stuck in a chair. Another is that it's only £5 entry, so if you should find yourself drifting off and ceasing to pay attention, you are less likely to feel guilty.

Despite an extensive classical music education, I do quite often find it difficult to keep concentrating for the length of a full piece. (It's noticeably easier with anything I've played myself.) In a standard sort of concert, this can feel like a problem, and I can get impatient with myself and irritable (and then it's even harder to concentrate and I risk getting bored...). At the Proms, I feel much more relaxed about the whole thing.

On both occasions this year, I also found myself writing things in my head - non-music-related things. The music was switching between something I was actively enjoying and involved in, and a pleasant backdrop to other things going on in my head - and again, this felt OK; legitimate. I'm considering next year going along more often with the aim of treating it like that - a pleasant space to give my brain some freedom in.

I think this is also partly because the expectations of behaviour are different. Shutting the hell up & listening: yes. But I've seen people reading during Proms; I've taken my knitting (though only with non-clicky needles); I've seen people doing the crossword, and wandering round the gallery, and writing. All things that at a standard concert (and, I suspect, in the proper seats at the Proms) would get you Frowned At. Or at least I've always felt so.

(Of course, having said all this & vowed to go more often next year, doubtless I'll wind up once again finding that it's late August & I haven't got around to it. Ah well.)
juliet: (music)
I nearly didn't go to the Proms at all this year. Finally got round to it in the last fortnight: Copland/Adams/Adams last week with [livejournal.com profile] dogrando & [livejournal.com profile] catsgomiaow, and to Tchaikovsky & Prokofiev (though we left at the interval due to impending starvation) with my friend Elaine last night.

There are several good things about the Proms. One is that if you go up to the Gallery, you can lie down on the floor and close your eyes (should you so desire), which can be excellent for listening to music. This also means more freedom to move around a bit, rather than being stuck in a chair. Another is that it's only £5 entry, so if you should find yourself drifting off and ceasing to pay attention, you are less likely to feel guilty.

Despite an extensive classical music education, I do quite often find it difficult to keep concentrating for the length of a full piece. (It's noticeably easier with anything I've played myself.) In a standard sort of concert, this can feel like a problem, and I can get impatient with myself and irritable (and then it's even harder to concentrate and I risk getting bored...). At the Proms, I feel much more relaxed about the whole thing.

On both occasions this year, I also found myself writing things in my head - non-music-related things. The music was switching between something I was actively enjoying and involved in, and a pleasant backdrop to other things going on in my head - and again, this felt OK; legitimate. I'm considering next year going along more often with the aim of treating it like that - a pleasant space to give my brain some freedom in.

I think this is also partly because the expectations of behaviour are different. Shutting the hell up & listening: yes. But I've seen people reading during Proms; I've taken my knitting (though only with non-clicky needles); I've seen people doing the crossword, and wandering round the gallery, and writing. All things that at a standard concert (and, I suspect, in the proper seats at the Proms) would get you Frowned At. Or at least I've always felt so.

(Of course, having said all this & vowed to go more often next year, doubtless I'll wind up once again finding that it's late August & I haven't got around to it. Ah well.)

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