Live Music: How music can move you

Written by Syed Ali

Marcus Tardelli, a Brazilian guitarist, held a reverb concert at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on Wednesday, this week. His music and skill with the guitar moved the audience as he wove through several Brazilian songs/solos, creating different melodies and themes with every piece. 
Tardelli’s music and live performance was engaging and personal. When I listen to music at home, I usually pair it with actions such as doing homework or completing chores. Sometimes, but not all the time, I listen to music for the sake of just listening; I’ve rarely close-appreciated music before. The performance, however, required much more attention and focus than just listening to music at home.The large audience created a sense of pressure and the musician created varying levels of music that truly moved me.


Listening to music in a relaxed setting or in a mode of distance (such as listening on a phone, etc.) is usually paired with activities that distract you from truly appreciating it. In a live performance such as Tardelli’s, where the musician guides you and explains certain nuances of each piece, music requires much more focus as you are forced to face it’s meaning head on. With no distractions, the concert felt more interpersonal and more meaningful. I felt more emotional and visually active; every piece invoked different images and feelings.

Image of the hall and Marcus Tardelli







To be specific, Tardelli’s music and the atmosphere of the concert moved me in that the music was right there in front of me. The barrier between the artist and the observer was no longer there as the artist, deliberately and with purpose, directly communicated with the audience. I could hear his music and think freely. I felt happy when I listened to songs that were quick and jazzy; I felt melancholic whenever the music turned slow or smooth. Tardelli even gave descriptions/titles of the pieces he played. He described one piece as “innocent,” in which the piece later (as the song progressed) evoked warm feelings and images of my childhood.

Music functions as a creator of meaning. We simultaneously derive and give meaning to it. Sometimes, it distracts us from the present, but it also helps elevate our emotions to get closer to our truths. Marcus Tardelli and his wonderful music gave way to various feelings, but it required effort. Effort to derive meaning is needed from the observer, just as how effort is needed from the artist to create. Music at home, non-live music, is ambient and may not be very personal, although it can be meaningful with more effort. When music is live, the exchange between people is easier and the meaning/emotions are easier to access.

Audience after the concert









Entrance to the concert, Foellinger Hall

Photos by Syed Ali

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