Usually, not too many people I know come to my concerts. Which is fine: not only do I totally understand that most people are really damn busy, but it can actually be a little awkward if they show up. What if I have a religious experience playing a show and the person who attended shrugs and looks away and says "Oh yeah, it was great..."? What if I feel like it was a waste of time and my audience member gushes? Awkward. But some shows I feel so proud of that I don't care, that it's enough that people are there and seeing what's happening. New music concerts in particular inspire both that feeling and Awkward Look-Away Moments, which is a fun combination.
We had our dal niente season closer Saturday night, and I'm still psyched about it. A whopping nine people from all different genres of my life showed up, mostly non-(classical-)musicians who had probably never been to a new music concert before, and all of them seemed to get something out of it. Enjoyment, a widened view of classical music, at least one piece that everybody liked (Vivier! Textural, and full of exciting string unisons), you know, whatever. It made me so happy, because the point of this music to me is less about pleasing audiences--although that's a bonus--and more about learning new things, finding beauty or joy or anger or wonder in unexpected sounds. I like pushing boundaries in my passive-ish way, and this music is inherently boundary-pushing.
Plus it was just a bad-ass concert. Well programed, alternating ensemble string orchestra and quartet pieces with solos, lots of exciting composers (Scelsi, Vivier, a cool quartet by Felipe Lara, solo cello piece by Saariajo, a world premier by our founding composer Kirsten Broberg, etc.), and for once it wasn't the mind-blowingly hardest thing I'd ever played. We put the concert together in three days, and it was an honest pleasure to play. I can't wait until next season.