It was very well written, but was another ordinary concert review that did not convey the vividness of the concert, which could be blamed on its lack of subjectivity. Eighth Blackbird is an internationally well-known ‘new music’ ensemble that won four grammy awards since 1996 (Eighth Blackbird 2017). This review was written on their concert that was performed on 23rd February 2017 at Llewellyn Hall in Canberra, Australia. In the review, Gall provided details on the ensemble and the pieces that they performed, which were quite insightful. The review overall had a very positive sense and readers that did not participate in the concert were able to understand that this concert was fairly successful.
However, Gall’s explanation was quite dry. The style of writing she used was very rational and almost emotion-less. The descriptions of the pieces are very accurate, but at the same time do not affect the readers emotion much. If the ultimate purpose for a concert review is to reproduce the concert as much as possible by using the words for those that did not attend the concert and for those who went to the concert, then this review lacks excitement or true feeling that one get from listening to the music.
Concert review is mostly written by a critic, can be both professional and amateur, and most of the times targeted towards the people who did not attend the concert. Therefore it is important for the reviewers to provide a lot of information so the readers can visualise what the concert was like. In interview with Gabe Meline, Alex Ross explained what the role of music critics are and he argued that capturing the essence of what one felt and explaining that to the readers is as important as providing insightful information or new perspectives to the readers (Meline 2014). Gall was successful on providing insightful information to the readers, but not quite for explaining what she felt during the concert. This led to the lack of ‘realness’ in writing and the readers may struggle obtaining a sense of what is was like.
Though, it is very difficult to judge how well written the explanation of one’s experience is, and having a very subjective insight to critique and review may cause a lot of trouble. In the same interview Ross mentioned that explaining one’s musical experience by words could result in producing either devastating or over-top enthusiastic review (Meliene 2014).
Without subjectivity, readers can not relate to a critic who is writing the review and would be difficult for them to visualise what actually happened at the concert. It may be difficult for the critics to write such things, but music critics should obtain skills to distill personal experience into a very rationalised style of writing.
Eighth Blackbird. “The Ensemble” https://www.eighthblackbird.org/ensemble/ (Accessed on 01/03/2017)
Meliene Gabe. “Talking with Alex Ross” https://ww2.kqed.org/arts/2014/11/04/alex-ross-classical-music-criticism/ (Accessed on 02/03/2017)