I'm gearing up for my 3rd Concert Window show and my 4th, too, on the very same day this coming Thursday the 19th of December. I've decided to reach out to those in my hometown, Cork in Ireland and those in the town I now call home, Rochester, Minnesota in one double swoop. Each show will be about 45 minutes in length and less than 6 hours apart. It's hard to please everyone but 8pm on a Thursday isn't too bad of a time, I think. Early enough if you are going out for the night and late enough if you are turning in for a quiet one. The first two could have been luck and thankfully they got a lot of press, buíochas le Dia, so Thursday will be a real litmus test for the future.
A Concert Window show is not like any other I have done. I still break in to a small sweat before kick off as the anticipation of what kind of attendance will show, even though you can see how the ticket sales are going always, which is great but helps build the anxiousness at the same time, there is inevitably a last minute rush as the Window opens. I find myself having to prepare more mentally for these than most as I sit at home with my fireplace as the backdrop. The approach I find needs to be more of a radio show than anything else, dead air can be a killer. It's just me and a laptop so all the energy needs to come from within. My head really needs to be set on my shoulders. There is no gaggle of people to set the tone or a crowd to lift your voice! You versus the Laptop. They are there of course on the other-side of that two way mirror. The text box can fly upwards like ticker-tape at times as you do your very best to concentrate on the lyrics while still taking in the comments to the right of your picture. As the fella says, "My head do be spinnin'!". For the trial of traipsing back over the conversation can make one look clumsy and awkward as you reach for the screen and your nose enlarges to an ungodly size. Very unbecoming. You must catch it while 'tis flying. All my songs are sung Acapulco as it is just me and my trusted bodhrán, Brrrrenda. So, to paraphrase a famous flute player, 'If I'm flat I don't know whether to go up or go down. What does that say about me?' I need to be on and stay on for the whole time.
While promoting the shows through many facets it's with Facebook event pages I ask for requests during the week prior. This sets up the first part of the presentation and by the second half, generally, the viewers have a want for something enough to request it there and then. There is always a back up plan in place if this falls flat, which hasn't been needed as of yet.
After great success with the previous 2 outings, investment has been made into more technology. Say a prayer for me here as I journey into the unknown. Through guidance by kindly Concert Window Staff and a certain New York Ethnomusicologist (both named Dan, fact) a Blue Yeti Microphone and Logitech Webcam are enroute. The hope is to create a more satisfactory experience for the audience. The quality of my Fruity Son of a Book Pro Laptop has been more than adequate but for longevity the bar must be raised. If it becomes more popular there is scope for a more frequent and more regular show.
I really do enjoy the Concert Window series and see it as a game changing platform for the music industry. Fair play to all the struggling musicians involved that have given the likes of me the chance to reach out to the world on the wide wide web.
Hope to see your text in the box at the show this Thursday!
More info can be found about this character here www.MairtinMusic.com