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Apr 12, 2004

"Live" vs "Recorded" Emotional Response

An interesting study done with fMRI imaging of the brain, showing how the dynamic nuances of a "live" performance evokes deep emotional responses, whereas as "flat" recorded sample of the same performance had little emotional effect.
"Recorded" vs "Live"

I believe being able to visually observe the dynamics enhances the emotional response even further, and the L1 approach maximizes it by allowing the audience to track to the individual performers onstage. Music IS Human!

Best of Luck,
Jeff
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May 11, 2020

Re: "Live" vs "Recorded" Emotional Response

Thanks for sharing this Jeff!

In all seriousness, do you suppose any of this explains "air guitar"?

And it's one thing for some of us to experience live performances much more profoundly than recordings, I am glad that there is some way to prove that live vs. memorex really is different. I wonder too, about the relationship between having been present at a live performance, and later hearing a recording of that event, vs. just hearing the recording.

This is such fertile ground for research. I wonder if anyone is exploring this in the context of brain injury and therapy.

Anyway - thank you for sharing this Jeff.
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Apr 12, 2004

Re: "Live" vs "Recorded" Emotional Response

quote:
Originally posted by ST:
I wonder too, about the relationship between having been present at a live performance, and later hearing a recording of that event, vs. just hearing the recording.


I would love to see the same study with 2 separate study groups as you have suggested, listening to the same exact piece of music, but with one of the groups having just witnessed the live performance. I am sure the difference would be staggering.

quote:
In all seriousness, do you suppose any of this explains "air guitar"?


Definitely an emotional reaction to an inspiring moment in music, it's the missing element, the HUMAN element! Great observation, ST Wink

Best Wishes,
Jeff
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Jun 30, 2004

Re: "Live" vs "Recorded" Emotional Response

And it makes me wonder about "mixed" performances of live and pre-recorded music too. It even makes me wonder about acoustic vs. amplified performances. I'd like to see some studies of all of these variables. Even something like what Pat Metheny is doing mixing robotic and human live performance is worth studying. The dynamics of live performance and the limitations of recorded music and amplified music are all variables that should make a difference in the emotional and physical response.
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Jun 30, 2004

Re: "Live" vs "Recorded" Emotional Response

It also makes me wonder about how dynamics should be seriously approached by live musicians. I've always striven to not have too much dynamic range so I either don't distort a system or don't annoy or blast the audience, but I notice that some famous performers really push the dynamic range to engage and excite the audience.
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Jun 30, 2004

Re: "Live" vs "Recorded" Emotional Response

It seems that I heard about this study or another like it on Science Friday recently. I'll go and look for that.
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Jun 30, 2004

Re: "Live" vs "Recorded" Emotional Response

Here's a somewhat related story from Science Friday. I know there's another one too, but I haven't found it yet.

Why Do We Like What We Like?
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May 25, 2004

Re: "Live" vs "Recorded" Emotional Response

To me music is all about emotion. Whether I'm doing it, or listening to someone else, if I'm not feeling it I don't enjoy it. I think that is the primary reason I don't do tracks. I don't want to be stuck with what somebody else was feeling, when I do the song.

There is a lot of great recorded music that is emotional, but there is a tremendous amount of popular music that is cookie cutter radio beat that to my ear is completely without real feeling.

I still prefer live music, but have to confess I spend more time listening to my cds or internet radio.


O..
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Apr 12, 2004

Re: "Live" vs "Recorded" Emotional Response

Tom,
I had read that story about Joshua Bell someplace, and I just cannot imagine walking by someone performing at that level, and not being mesmerized by his performance.

Oldghm, I feel fortunate to have witnessed your live performances, and your performances are indeed products of pure emotion. There is no disconnect with you in the messages in the music you convey. It is a rare gift indeed.

I recently had the privelege of sharing 3 gigs back to back with our original guitarist, who flew in from South Carolina to perform with us. Here is an excerpt from an e-mail he sent me:

"Thanks Jeff for a great time last weekend. I was telling Todd that you have truly become a great frontman and especially your vocals have improved considerably. Man you blew me away with the emotion you put into mony and the other songs".

It really meant a lot to me to hear those words from Jim, I have always looked up to him as a performer. It's encouraging, makes me feel I am on the right track as an entertainer.

Best Wishes,
Jeff
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Dec 14, 2003

Re: "Live" vs "Recorded" Emotional Response

I think that's why you can have a less-than-perfect performance and get a great reaction. People want to connect with the performer. Anyone who has been doing this for any time will know exactly what that feels like when it happens in a big way. Priceless.

As for backing tracks, I agree it can be harder to get into an emotional space. At least for me, it's mostly because I get a little too preoccupied with making sure I'm on the beat and in the right chord. On the other hand, the groove and rhythm can be greatly enhanced with a good bass and drum backing track such as the McCarty tracks. The synergy of playing with live performers isn't there but hey, I don''t have to give the backing track any of my earnings!

Whether I'm solo acoustic guitar and vocal or backing track, I'm at my best when I am in the moment and believe what I'm singing. I can remember years ago when I watched Mariah Carey sing on TV with Boys To Men. The song was sung with many flourishes, swoops and dives and the singing was technically amazing. And oh so boring...like listening to machines. Give me a screaming John Lennon or shakey Neil Young any day over that stuff!