The lying down concert: a new concept?

October 14th, 2008

The lying down concert: a new concept?

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Some time ago, the famous ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs organized a two days event called “Dolce Heavenly Concert” in Tokyo. The “revolutionary” idea was to replace the hall seats with beds. The guests were therefore stretched out on luxury beds and had as much ice cream as they desired…

We should relax when we listen to music” commented a young woman, admitting she was deeply sleeping during the concert. Many guests woke up when they heard applause. The organizers’ spokesperson explained the initiative: “One tend to think people should sit down and listen somberly to a classical concert. We think it would be better if people could relax, lying down on a bed and having a tasty ice cream“.

If, of course, these concerts had essentially a commercial purpose for Häagen-Dazs (the promotion of “de-stressing” new flavours) I’m beginning to wonder about the validity of such a concept, which could (unfortunately?) multiply.

After the reading of this news item, I asked myself many questions. Naturally, the first was: what was then the purpose to play music in front of a sleeping audience? I’m still trying to find… Wouldn’t it be to create a sound background enabling people to nod off? I dare to hope I’m wrong, this would be an insult to classical music and treat it as a mere lift music.

But is classical music relaxing? I don’t think so neither. Based on the tension/resolution system (at least in tonal music, ie. the one listened to “relax”), I difficultly see how a series of tensions and resolutions could become relaxing.

On the other hand, where is the respect for the musician, who worked for weeks or months?, when in front of him, a slouch audience, sleeping or eating ice cream, is listening with one ear and is not concentrated on the sound result…

As you’ve understood, I’m not for this kind of initiative. And you, what do you think about it?

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