If an alien life form were to land unannounced backstage at a concert in 2012, they would make some basic assumptions about human behaviour which I once would have thought unfounded. Now I’m not so sure.
One of the many changes I have seen in my time on the world touring circuit is the ability to stay in contact with family back at home. When I joined the LSO in 2000, an extra terrestrial would have assumed that it was absolutely vital to human existence to form a snake like queue around the hotel foyers of Japan awaiting a turn to feed a pocketful of coins into the telephone on the wall. In many ways, being away from spouses and children, it was vital. However these days almost everybody has a smartphone of some description. As I walked through the door to the backstage area in Salle Pleyel in Paris, there was a sign stuck on it with the new holy grail for the touring musician