The moment you walk on stage at the beginning of a concert, seeing the audience for the first time, is always special to me. There is often a sense of excitement blended with a feeling of restlessness present. Excitement about the musical journey which lies ahead and restlessness, or rather eagerness, about where this journey is going to take us. For me, the audience is not only there to witness the unfolding of this 'musical journey'. On the contrary, they are part of the journey and thus performance themselves. But there are more things to discuss regarding an audience, so let's take a look at some of the roles an audience can have.
Audiences give you the the chance to grow as a musician and develop your artistic ideas
The first thing which comes to mind when I think about an audience is gratefulness. Honestly, without an audience, what is the point of being a musician? Audiences give us the opportunity to share our artistic voice - our music - with others, which is often one of the reasons why someone becomes a musician in the first place. Without their support, we simply would not be able to do what the do. Moreover, an audience gives you the chance to grow as a musician and develop your artistic ideas. Playing in front of an audience makes you aware of which musical skills you can further develop and forces you at the same time to have a clear idea about the message you want to convey with the music you perform, for which during every concert you only get one shot. But there is more to say about an audience and how it can influence a concert.
When there is a true connection between the musician(s) and the audience, it feels like time is standing still and the perception of gravity is lost, creating a sense of weightlessness
During a concert, I always to try to have a real dialogue with the audience through the music which I perform. This dialogue goes both ways, which means that while I am trying to inspire the audience, the audience can also inspire me to try out new things, causing me to take a little bit more time during a certain phrase for example. These kinds of alterations which are initiated by the audience and happen on the spot change the musical journey, inevitably changing our destination as well. It is hard to explain how this dialogue is established, but I can try to describe what it feels like when this happens so you can recognize it the next time it occurs. In that moment, when there is a true connection between the musician(s) and the audience, it feels like time is standing still and the perception of gravity is lost, creating a sense of weightlessness. During these moments we find ourselves in an alternative world, where not speech but music is used as the prevalent method of communication. I live for these kinds of moments when I can experience this magical feeling and I hope to experience it many more times...