Friday, January 25, 2008
What exactly is live music?
"Way more than 50% of our output is live music ..." claims BBC Radio 3 controller Roger Wright in a revealing article about a new jazz radio station in today's Guardian.
But Radio 3's definition of live is slightly different to yours and mine. As I reported here in February 2007 virtually all evening concerts on Radio 3, except the Proms, are pre-recorded. But the BBC counts these recordings as 'live' performances, and the text streamed with their FM broadcasts describes them as 'live concert recordings'.
In a wonderful example of BBC corporate-crapola Radio 3 defines 'live' as any music recorded with an audience present. Which has important implications both for musicians who earn their living from live music making, as these recorded 'live' performances can be repeated, and for audiences, who may find real concerts with living breathing musicians disappearing.
If Roger Wright turned up at a concert hall for a 'live concert', and found a pre-recorded performance being played through speakers wouldn't he feel cheated? It's not a stupid question - that's what is actually happening in my header photo. Read about it here.
Header photo (c) On An Overgrown Path 2008. Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk