Magic Choral Trick #148 Visual Noise
Same rules apply here as for the aural noise in the previous post.
‘Noise’ is anything that takes the audience’s attention away from the unanimity of the choir’s presentation.
I think we can probably all think of examples we’ve seen of obvious Visual Noise:
– Any repetitive motion done by one person (like pushing hair back from the face)
– One or two people swaying in rhythm while the rest of the group stands still
– Someone who is standing at a dramatically different angle from the rest of the choir
– Serious over directing while the choir or chorus stands stoically still
But there are Visual Noise things that can affect your performance more subtly
– In groups that use music even the amount of head movement as people look up and down to and from their music can be visually Noisy
– In groups that don’t use music, if every chorus member except one has Laser Eyes fastened onto the director – guess who we’re all watching.
– The singer may feel confident that concern and sincerity is what’s showing on their faces, but knitted brows come across as angry – or at the very least, worried.
Ultimately, the real task we have with Visual Noise is to have all chorus members understand that audiences listen about 50% with their eyes. Once all the singers in a group can come to accept this, the performance can be dramatically improved by making the finer and finer distinctions that we’re used to discovering when it comes to sound.