The Science Of The Setlist

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One of the unspoken arts of performance is the structuring of the setlist.

Here is an opportunity to create an experience by taking your audience on an emotional adventure and delivering everybody safely home at the end. 

The great performers achieve this to such great effect that people will still enthuse about the event years later. 

Being granted the opportunity to perform is to be entrusted with a great responsibility. 

The objective is to move the ones who have gathered and keep them gathered otherwise they will move. 

This weekend I have two blocks of 30 minutes silence to fill. 

Just me and the piano. 

Both need to be as entertaining as each other, however the destination of each half is distinctly different. 

As well as my own compositions I am playing a few Jazz/Soul standards. Favourite songs that have inspired me and that I can also create CMW versions of so that they sit well with my work. 

To create distinction each song is played differently I can use more Gospel references on some, more Classical on others but in performance situations like this my greatest asset is the silence. 

Allowing room between the notes as well as the songs gives liberty to the listener to interpret and integrate with the music. 

My goal is to present a graceful seduction, to be honest, exposed and unafraid.

A successful setlist will chart the path for this experience. 

Build a steady rise, allow a gentle fall.

Ebb and flow.

There will intense heartfelt songs and those with lighter sentiments. 

I also have to decide whether to extend a mood across a couple of pieces or to change swiftly with a completely different song. 

Should there be a break between every song and an introduction and dialogue about each one? 

Or should I segue seamlessly though?  

Comparable to the most intimate of moments the ending should crescendo to the highest most memorable point with the option to extend the fun if needs be. 

As you can see from the picture I reach my conclusions by utilising the most cutting edge tools available. ;)

Now to go do it. 


Love Yourself!


Thanks for reading. 

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