The raw sound of unplugged


Microphones on stage are not always used to amplify. They can exist to record.

It’s fairly easy to tell if the sound from a musical instrument is amplified or not. You hear the amplification through speakers.

It sounds different when amplified.

Amplification is the default-mode in large gatherings where the natural acoustics of the space is insufficient to carry the raw sound.

The economics of concertizing has made amplification necessary. It’s simply more profitable to play to a thousand than a snug group of ten.

How then do you get to hear music unplugged?

  • Piano solo. Classical guitar.
  • Chamber music. Piano trio. String quartet.
  • Opera.
  • Orchestra.
  • Folks who get together to “talk story” and jam on their ukeleles and guitars at sunset.

The constant piping of background music through speakers at supermarkets, airports, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, receptions of medical clinics, and even food trucks has caused me to long for the sound of silence. Next best, the raw sound of music that’s not amplified, piped, or plugged.

Where can I go on Maui for the unplugged, unamplified sound of music?

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Filed under audience, concert, culture, economics, recording, review

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