Have you ever been to an organ recital or played one where the audience was supposed to applaud but didn't? For the organist or an outside observer it seems weird, doesn't it?
Here's what my friend John Higgins from Australia wrote about his special recital before Christmas:
"It turned out very well, I really played well, and I think I got the best out of the organ. Afterwards, there was a really strange silence, no applause, I felt quite uncertain at that moment. But after the concert, some people were telling me that a few people were getting emotional and started crying. I also had several people tell me they had never heard the organ played like that before, and didn’t know it was possible to get such sounds from it. I started to realize why there was this strange silence. It was quite humbling."
The feeling John experienced is very rare. Sometimes you don't understand why there is such silence, why people are compelled to hold off the applause.
Because intense silence can also mean that people didn't understand you but it never means they were bored. It always means your impact was great (and it's not necessarily a good thing).
It's in these moments that you start to understand on what level the connection with the audience it really was.
This intimacy is like they are letting you whisper into their ear.
And this is when the external joy shown though applause is changed into internal contemplation which is evident through this strange silence.
As John puts it, it's quite humbling.
If you ever experience such recital, I think people will remember it for a long time just as you most certainly will.
Share your thoughts in the comments, if you've ever witnessed such an event.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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