Monday, April 22, 2013

#TweetSeats at the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra concert

Live tweeting is a big thing in journalism school. As an arts journalist who focuses in performing arts, I would flinch every time Syracuse University asked me to live tweet an event. The thought of sitting at a symphony concert or opera with my phone out goes against every lesson I've ever learned about concert etiquette. And I have glowing concert etiquette--I live to defy the people who mutter something about the young people who are late, who have their phones out, who are talking during the concert.

To satisfy my assignments, I would live tweet restaurant experiences, art galleries visits and street fairs.

Some things are fated, though. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra experimented with tweet seats during their final Knightsounds concert last Friday, and I was asked to participate. Two back rows were reserved for tweeters. We were given a few hashtags and asked to dim our phone screens.

There were about five tweeters. It's an interesting product in itself, but it wasn't a great concert experience--not because the music wasn't good, but because I wasn't listening the way I usually do. I'm not terribly interested in taking my (very few) twitter fans to a concert--it fractures my attention and creates a superficial musical experience because I'm trying to cook up a witty comment rather than listening to the subtleties of the music.

Below is the result. I storified the #knightsounds tweets--fyi, the latest tweets are at the top, so you should read from the bottom up, like a twitter feed.

Knightsounds season finale--American masters and pioneers

The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra concluded their Knightsounds series with an evening of American music and an experiment with tweet seats. Here's the concert from a social media point of view.

Storified by · Sun, Apr 21 2013 11:53:58

Stepped out of the theater into a dance party at Knight Theater thx to Charlotte DJ Andy Kastanas @cltsymphony #KnightSounds #ulyssesfestJamie Wolf
And thus ends the live tweeting, but not the dj beatz. See you at the reception. #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
I love a concert with no intermission. I hate the 25 minutes of interruption. #knightsounds #kudosLeah Harrison
@leaheharrison You do realize the soundtrack you've provided tonight, in probably the most dramatic night in the history of Twitter?Matt Ewalt
Not the only one swaying to American in Paris. A Gershwin night at the Knight! @cltsymphony #KnightSoundsJamie Wolf
@CLTsymphony American in Paris Where are Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron? #KnightSoundsHeidi Frankson
Gershwin's "American in Paris" completes the concert. Visions of Gene Kelly @CLTsymphony #KnightSoundsJessica Thomas
@leaheharrison I LOVE Short Ride! So jealous.Kelly Vaneman
Crazy ride! Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine. Frenetic and exciting. #KnightSoundsHeidi Frankson
Adams's ride is uncomfortable! #KnightSoundsMandy Smith
I've been on that ride with my brother. Adams was right, it's terrifying. #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
John Adams! Yes! Minimalism! A short ride in a fast machine is based on driving in the N. Cali mountains. #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
Taking a frightening but exciting trip in a Lamborghini w/ Adams and then off to Paris w/ Gershwin! @cltsymphony #KnightSounds #ulyssesfestJamie Wolf
Bairos is a great emcee for events that are meant to attract the young and hip. Lucky Charlotte! #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
...So it's weird to like some of their music so much and not care about other pieces they wrote. Afraid that's the case here. #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
Both Gershwin and Copland have such identifiable sounds, & much of their respective catalogue a sound similar... #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
To end, Gershwin in all his cartoonish glory #anamericaninparis #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
So it's not the best Copland piece. Sure does sound American for having Mexico in the name. #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
Brass killed it w/ Copland's El Salon Mexico! Tequila, anyone? @cltsymphony #KnightSounds #ulyssesfestJamie Wolf
So excited to hear El Salon Mexico! @CLTsymphony #KnightSoundsHeidi Frankson
Is that tequila I hear? #copland #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
Copland's #elsalonmexico next. Inspired by a night in a Mexican nightclub. #knightclub #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
American composer inspired by a Mexican salon. CSO takes us across the border w/ Copland. @cltsymphony #KnightSoundsJamie Wolf
Standing ovation at #knightsounds. Leo deserved it!
Mesmerized. On the edge of my seat. A full range musicality and emotion from the timpani. @cltsymphony #KnightSounds #ulyssesfestJamie Wolf
Great timpani soloist. Bravo, Leonardo Soto! #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
Leo is #AMAZING. Timpani concertos rock at #knightsounds #CSOrocks
Urban Sketchers are here tonight! #KnightSounds Symphony
Wow! Leo Soto "Rose the Roof" in Michael Daugherty's spectacular work! #KnightSoundsHeidi Frankson
Now I think we're dealing with mallets that have mini maracas as heads. #whoa #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
Pedals adjust pitch n kettle drums. Lots of sliding and scooping. Like trombone drums. #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
If you thought drums couldn't have a full range of melodic pitch, check out M. Daugherty's timpani concerto. #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
And now, a timpani concerto. #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
A DJ composer, Bates really puts a spin on the sound of the Symphony! @CLTsymphony #KnightSounds #ulyssesfestCharlotte Symphony
Technology integrated into the orchestra via a "laptop player" for Mason Bates' piece @CLTsymphony #KnightSounds #ulyssesfestJessica Thomas
Mason Bates. Tech=focal point. Laptop player sitting among violins. Tech sounds are so much smaller than instrumental sounds. #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
#KnightSounds just felt scared, excited, nervous and relieved all within the last 7 min of Dooley's pieceCharlotte Symphony
A new Indiana Jones score, perhaps? #templeofprojections #raidersofthelosttux #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
Paul Dooley in the house to hear his electronica-inspired piece performed tonight @CLTsymphony #KnightSounds #ulyssesfestJessica Thomas
American music has an ambitious, bright-eyed sound. #ADAMschoenberg #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
Schoenberg is first artist since Mahler to be signed by Universal says Rafael-Bairos. #notbad @CLTsymphony #KnightSoundsJessica Thomas
In rondo form, a principal theme alternates with one or more contrasting themes. 'Rondo from American Symphony' #KnightSoundsCharlotte Symphony
A. Schoenberg American symphony. No, not Arnold. #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
Informal means no penguin suits, untucked shirt tales and swirly projections. #knightsoundsLeah Harrison
About to live tweet the @CLTsymphony #knightsounds concert. American masters and pioneers, majority still breathing!Leah Harrison
Here we go tweet seats @CLTsymphony #KnightSounds #ulyssesfest Thomas