Being at a lute recital is like going out of a noisy intersection to a path in the redwood forest: you hear differently. The amplification of motors, TVs, life, has to be, is ideally, pushed aside and an older acoustic takes over. It's older, and at the same time, newer: it opens up the ears instead of shutting them down. We lean forward, ask more of the ears and the eyes (the movement of the fingers on the strings cues us to what we are hearing). It's a world of spruce and gut, not Sony and gasoline.
Last weekend I went to Cleveland to hear the lutenist Paul O'Dette. My writeup from clevelandclassical.com is here: http://www.clevelandclassical.com/062612olsadetterev