Stadiums, sport arenas, theatres, auditoriums, cultural clubs, venues of small societies and pubs are all places where we are used to playing and listening to live music. But are they really the most-suited places for musical language? Are they really the ideal technical solutions that allow the music to be brought to its fulfilment? It’s true that the bottom line is music can live anywhere and each opportunity to spread it and listen to it is an amazing gift, but analysing the list of places above, only theatres and auditoriums (even if not all of them) can actually be said to be places created for music and where music belongs. It seems to me that, as far as the rest of these places are concerned, music is no more than lent out, like an invalid in a hospital ward or displaced people in gyms. Each one of these locations, in fact, was designed and built with a specific object in mind that certainly wasn’t music, taking into consideration its logistics or acoustics. Stadiums were built to meet the technical needs of sporting events, as were sports arenas. Venues for societies and cultural clubs are often spaces similar to small offices or large houses with unmanageable acoustics. Pubs are places for gatherings where most of the time (not to say always!) the musician is a kind of human radio, forced to wriggle his/her way in between the careless chatter of customers and a general, uncomforting indifference.
I believe that what matters is not that despite everything music manages to beat the technical deficits of the places that lend it a space, but that this is the bitter reality that needs to be confronted. Places that have been planned and built solely for music do not exist. We always trust in the untameable power of musical language and its ability to penetrate even those surfaces that are most impermeable to its nature.
Furthermore, we should remember that the greatest and most prestigious places, such as stadiums, sports arenas and theatres are commercially demanding locations, and hence reserved to those few artists recognised by the market (rightly or wrongly as that may be) to be rather profitable attractions. Those many artists swarming the cultural undergrowth are left with venues such as those for societies, clubs or pubs to perform in. These are places, and this is especially true of pubs, where people do not choose to listen to music but rather they put up with it.
Is it possible that a language that is so widely-used, that is so noble and generates such an important power for gathering people has no home of its own? A place, that is, that has been thought up and built especially for it from every logistical and acoustic point of view. Perhaps this is the most realistic reflection of the priorities of our collective entity in the mirror? All things considered, there are even ad hoc places that have been built especially to play bowling.