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Monday, September 10, 2012

My Experience of Viewing the Live Performanace of Huun Huur Tu on Youtube

The course syllabus says that there will be a quiz on the Huun Huur Tu video on Youtube so the first time I watched it, I was paying attention on details and would pause the video from time to time to take down notes on the instruments and on the sounds. However, that is not the best way to assess my experience and actual reaction on the performance so after a few days I watched it again just allowing it to play along and I actually enjoyed most of the performance. There were instances when my sister and a nephew came while I was watching and they both asked what I was listening to, my sister with a questioning frown on her face while my young nephew commenting that it sounds like prayer from some kind of religion which of course made me smile. I wondered if I would have said the same if I was not taking the course and had no introduction on the music. In all honesty, I found the instruments more to my liking than the throat singing itself. Though I actually felt the music even without understanding the words, there were also some instances when they seemed just like an expression of the style, like they were showcasing their capacity for the style. The guest performers in “Odugen Taiga” piece were also a bit of a distraction particularly the lady in a native American Indian attire. Instead of just enjoying the performance, I wondered why they have to be there in the performance. I had to backtrack to its start, wondered if I missed something in the introduction for the piece but there was none. Anyway, I sat back again and completed the performance quite satisfied viewing it.

Viewing the performance in Youtube also allowed me to view the reaction of some people watching the performance. I guess like some other performances in different music tradition, the reactions are varied with most intent on viewing the performance trying to learn the music and culture while others just feeling and enjoying the music. It was good that they performed in their native attire and that someone from the group would give a brief introduction, some information about most of the music or the tradition so that people get to relate more to it.

For live performances, musicians should really plan, not just on the music they are going to perform but also consider their attire, the instruments, the layout of their stage, the size of the venue, the sound system and so many other details since so much could be achieved with a good performance. And recording these for future releases using different media and with proper annotations just like in the Youtube video allows it to reach and impact more audience. People get to learn more about the culture and the music from such performances. An hour’s long performance may not give all the information necessary to learn about the music—the sounds and instruments, the country, the culture and tradition but it gives people a taste of it. They open up the imagination and desire in their audience and it is up to these audiences to appreciate it and go further by listening and watching some more, reading and who knows actually travelling and experiencing the culture. The possibility is endless, the good thing is that the performance, just like a seed has been planted in people’s consciousness, the rest is entirely up to them.

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