Art Show Music


Music is a powerful mood changer - it can make or break any situation. I used to work in a store that, oddly, played no music at all - which made the place feel cavernous and cold. If you want people to buy things, you need to play music that puts them in a good mood; or, at least a comfortable one. It's why I pick the sort of music I do for events, for example.

I had a minor difference of opinion about the music used for my last art show. I chose friendly, warm music that kindled the idea of a casual party. I chose that music because that's precisely the mood I was after - it was not just my first solo show, it was also my birthday. Just because it was an art event, did not mean I wanted gallery-styled installation-art discordant white noise, or something jarring, or something self-indulgent, and so forth. That sort of thing doesn't make people comfortable, and it doesn't make people want to buy things.

What's the focus of the event - buying the art, or experiencing the art. If it's experiencing it, you can go for something less chummy. The people coming, the mood you're trying to kindle, the focus of the event, and even the space the event is at, need to be considered when choosing the music for the event you're hosting - unless there's some very specific reason why you need Art Show Music, I would avoid it utterly at every turn.

But, I have another event coming up for which I am creating a playlist of generic background jazz - not because I have a crushing need to listen to hours of coffee shop cocktail jazz, but because I need music that fills space, makes people comfortable, but doesn't distract them, or give me a migraine.

As an aside:

Silence used to be golden in the Henry Moore sculpture room at the AGO, which has been destroyed utterly by opening the other wall up to the cafe. I don't love Henry Moore's work, but that work, in that dead silent room, was an exceptional thing. Now, gone. But, so is the Jackson Pollock painting that used to be in the hallway leading to that room, for which I feel only a massive sense of relief. I hate Pollock.



2016 11 14 - 21:36

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