We went to a concert tonight (Present Music), and I hate to grumble the same old grumble, but my new theory is that, just as cats know which people in the room dislike cats (and instinctively gravitate toward those people), certain people with hitherto-undiagnosed allergies to certain musical sounds (primarily quieter ones) are attracted to those very same musical sounds. I’m not sure what else would explain the outbursts of coughing, wheezing, and crumpling of cough-suppressant wrappers that invariably break out at such concerts. Those folks at least have the excuse that a cough is involuntary. Talking, however, is not: shortly after shushing (politely) the chatting couple in front of us – who were apparently under the impression that the musicians were just a video projection – the female of the party decided that a quiet moment during a string trio was the perfect time to file her nails. Added a peculiar, scritching percussive sound to the piece. Me, I was thinking of that Elvis Costello line about the filing of nails…as a reminder that lots of weight would make it harder for the folks dragging the lake to find the body.
I’m thinking some composer should score a piece for coughing, throat-clearing, chair-shifting, program-rustling, purse-rummaging, candy-unwrapping, and indistinct mumbling and whispering. Better yet, it could be an audience participation piece! Get it out of their systems, maybe.
PS: We’ll be on vacation for a week, so it’s fairly unlikely I’ll be updating this until then.