Role of a Critic in a concert
I always wanted to write about this from a long time but was a little skeptical about doing it. I guess the time has come to express my feelings about the same now.
Even from my childhood days, I have been reading the reviews in the news papers, music journals about the programs that happen in the city. I wondered who would be writing these and what would be the role of the person who carries that job. Long back I understood there would be specific people called "Music Critics" who would do the job of writing reviews about a program.
As an accompanying artist, if I see the pattern of the music review it is very monotonous. Section one would be about the organization presenting the concert. 2 sections on the main artist and the items performed on that day. Last line in the last section of the review, names of the accompanying artists.
In many forums there were questions thrown at these so called "Critics" as why is the injustice happening to the accompanying artists. And some of the justifications given by them are blaming the news editors who strip off whatever the critic has written to fit the review column. In that case, I personally have a question as why cannot they have a say in the journal committee? Or, as a Critic, are they doing justice to the profession/post they are holding?
According to me, the role of an ideal Critic is
1. Critic should in person go to the program and should listen to the entire concert and not the section of the program and write about it.
2. Critic should feel the pulse of the concert and give their judicial comment on the music as well as the artists.
3. If they are open in their comments be it Positive Criticism or Negative Criticism, let them express it to the artists itself.
4. One more important point I have noticed here is most people go by the popularity of an artist and express their comments. I guess, for me it is one of the biggest mistakes. Respect the artist for what he/she has done in past but base your comments only for the day you are writing the review for. The review is for the program and not for his past / future recognitions.
5. Last but not the least, please write more about the accompanying artists as well. I am not asking to over do but a line each on each accompanist will do a lot of good for his/her confidence and will carry that artist an extra mile. Please give some respect to the efforts the accompanying artist puts in to achieve what he/she has achieved to be there in the program you are writing about.
If these things does not happen, I feel, the artists would lose faith in so called "Criticism" / "Reviews" and would not respect any more. Probably, the organizations should come up with their own journals to write more about the programs they conduct so that the real picture (review) of the program is highlighted in an appropriate manner.