a stage: a platform where actors, musicians etc perform
to film: to capture on video camera
an encore: when a music artist plays an additional song after the end of the concert
to speak out: to express opinions publicly
a gig: a concert
a screen: where you see the images on a computer, phone, camera etc
theft: the crime of stealing something
an issue: an important problem, situation, topic
awful: terrible, very bad
One of the world’s top pianists has surprised the audience of one of his concerts by leaving the stage because a fan was filming his performance on a smartphone.
Polish Krystian Zimerman, 56, returned moments later and declared: “The destruction of music because of YouTube is enormous.” He then continued his recital, but didn’t perform an encore and cancelled a post-concert reception.
He is not the only high-profile musician who has spoken out against filming during concerts. At a gig in April, indie rock band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs put up a note for fans. “Please do not watch the show through a screen on your smart device/camera,” it said.
Zimerman was performing at the Ruhr Piano Festival in Essen, western Germany, when he noticed someone filming the concert on their smartphone. He asked them to stop, but they didn’t. So he interrupted the recital and walked off stage.
Zimerman told the audience that he had lost recording contracts and projects because of recording company executives telling him: “We’re sorry, that has already been on YouTube.” The festival’s director, Franz Xaver Ohnesorg, said: “What happened is theft, pure and simple.”
Respect and quality
For many artists, recordings made by fans are not a problem, if they do it discretely. Digital media websites such as YouTube and social media networks such as Facebook have become typical ways for artists to promote their work.
Violinist and composer Steve Bingham said that for many musicians the issue was not about theft, but about terrible quality. “You want people to pass on your music to friends, but unfortunately you don’t get quality control. If someone is recording in the 17th row on a smartphone the view and the sound quality are going to be awful.”
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Something to chat about
(read the article on page 1)
Have you been to a concert recently? Or to the theatre, or to a performance?
Have you ever filmed video during a concert?
Do you take photographs during events, performances, sports matches etc?
Do you ever get annoyed with people who do?
Should people be banned from doing this?
Privacy – when is it violated?
(click on the image to download it)
Look at these different pictures (including the cover). Talk about the different situations. Do you have any photos like these? Where might you see photos like these?
Discuss whether the different people in each photo gave permission for their photograph to be taken or not. If they didn’t, do you think they would be angry if they (or their family) saw the photo? Would they demand money?
Decide who would benefit most and least from having their photo taken. Where would we probably see it?
Talk about what your reactions are like when people want to take photos of you.
Write it all in an email to your ECP coach (and record your voice!).