Here is a photo from Kyle Johnson's performance of my Seven Morsels in the Form of a Persimmon. The piece calls for some staging and lighting effects which help create the atmosphere for the music. Additionally, Kyle invited the audience to sit closer to the piano and on stage for a more intimate listening experience. Personally, I believe more recitals should be performed with the audience closer to the performers. When sitting close to certain instruments and ensembles, the nuanced interplay of sound becomes more apparent. Audiences may appreciate some pieces better if they are allowed to feel how the sound reverberates on stage and hear how the sound decays within the instrument. Some members of this audience would disagree with me and felt that being on stage was awkward. Perhaps the breaking the dichotomy of on stage/off stage violates some notion of acceptable performance practice. However, in other expressions of music, whether it's bhangra, punk rock, or hip hop, listeners are sometimes welcome to participate on stage along with the performers in one way or another. Why not art music?
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