Unplug: Dare to Live Life Live

I’m the first one to want to tweet and text from the opera. I want to take pics of the impressive velvet curtained proscenium and tweet them. I want to record the orchestra tuning and tweet that too. Maybe I’ll make a little video of the Crazy-Cool Old Lady in the Silver Lamé Pantsuit, or snap one of those two guys who show up in matching black leather get-ups and I’ll upload those to Facebook before the curtain rises. I’ll take an artsy micro-environment pic of my über-fabulous silver tasseled scarf resting against the red velvet of the seats. That’s a good tweet. Then I’ll check and see how many hits my pics got on Twitpic or if anyone retweeted my tweet. Oh, yeah, I am good at this.

So let me say, when it comes to live performance, I am all for classical musicians and performing arts peeps experimenting with non-traditional, unconventional audience practices: twitting, texting, social media connectivity, all before, during and after performances. There are some cats out there working through all of that. The Houston Symphony recently had a “tweetcert”, where the company tweeted program notes during a live performance; the Royal Opera House created an opera from tweets. That’s cool. Go for it, guys.

Wanna know what I think?

The constant, unrelenting, electronic social “connectivity” is gimmicky (certainly when it comes to what arts groups can do with it in a live performance situation) and ultimately only serves to disconnect us from each other and from what’s going on around us in Real Life. And well, it appears that it’s really screwing with our cognitive abilities. Forget The Arts, I’m talking about our brains, people.

The NYTimes recently ran several articles on brain chemistry and the constant tech barrage, and lo and behold! - it seems it might be bad for the ol’ noggin. Are we going to become so ADD from all the tech input and multi-tasking, that we can’t even hold a conversation, much less sit quietly for an hour at a performance?

If we lose the ability pay attention, we lose the ability to experience life.

So, here’s what I’m gonna do:

When you come to a Divergence Vocal Theater performance & social event:

For little you, m’dears,
My artsy conspirators and I create:

  • a space to unplug from Digital Life and connect with in-the-flesh human life-forms, tête-à-tête.
  • a beep!-bleep!-zing!-ting!-brrrrinnnng!-free environment.
  • an update-free, cellphone-free, iPad-free, iPhone-free, Droid-free environment.
  • a place where you can relax and escape from the onslaught of emails, texts, tweets, pics of your third cousin’s neighbor’s newborn, and links to hilarious Youtube kitty videos.

Maybe we’ll even make little sockie sleeping bag cozies for your iPhone so it can get some shut-eye.

What then?

We feed your soul with music.

And, yes, you’re very, very welcome. It is, quite seriously, my pleasure.


PS - Oh, yeah, of course don’t forget to tweet this and post it to Facebook! :)

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