I would have to say last night was pretty good. Not the most amazing I’ve ever had, but a solid good. Marc-André Dalbavie was my favorite with Lei Liang coming in second. Didn’t get to discuss Liang’s piece much at all last night.
The most interesting thing about Liang’s Verge was the manipulation of the strings to emulate Mongolian sounds. I’m looking forward seeing how Asian influence in classical music pans out, as I don’t think it’s fully settled in yet (or maybe it’s my ear that hasn’t settled in)…seems to still be in its experimental stages.
In other news, the super cool-looking, instrumentalist-free installation, Stifter’s Dinge by Heiner Goebbels, takes place this weekend at the Park Avenue Armory as part of Lincoln Center’s New Visions thang. I wonder if they’re aiming for a younger audience at all? While it’s probably worth it, I don’t see, both at our age and in this economy, and during this season, many 18-34’s dropping $55 to see this (and it says nothing about student tix on the site)…whatever, ramen every day next week doesn’t sound too bad, right?
This is hard! Note: post will change throughout evening.
Just finished hearing Arlene Sierra’s Game of Attrition. Lindberg interviewing Lei Liang, he made his piece based on his son’s name, Albert. His piece, Verge, has ideas of converge and diverge. Inspired by Mongolian tradition. Anyway you can read all the educational stuff online.
Listening to Verge now. Guess it’s not about his son, as there seems to be an uneasy feeling prevalent, and at times anxious feeling. Liang has created some unique effects with the strings.
Sierra: indifferent. Liang: strong like, not love.
intermission…I can chill now thank goodness.
Concert about to start again
Lindberg discussing spectral music with Marc-André Dalbavie. D. said something about color and the music being autobiographical in Melodia, upcoming piece.
Dalbavie isn’t afraid of having some tonal elements in his music. Yes there are enough unique harmonies and non-diatonic melodies (man I NEED to brush up on theory if I’m gonna keep doing this live stuff) that make it sound ‘new’ enough. But Dalbavie conveys cohesive musical thoughts…I should probably go into depth, but like I said about my theory skills…anyway it’s clear there are some established compositional elements he uses that do not take away from the originality of his voice.
Artur Kampela wearing funky black and white plaid pants talking about Macunaima. Talking about how idea of listening is philosophical, linked to the imagination, how we only hear and mostly see. He talks really fast and is enthusiastic about listening! Applause and amusement from the audience.
Electronic sounds start off the piece–church bells, wind. Pretty stark. People walking down the aisles making sounds with what seem to be home made can instruments. Basically sound effects to set up atmosphere–sounds like the wild, nature, even frogs. Kampela creates a picture, relates back to what he was saying about listening and imagination. I’m wondering though, do I have a certain picture in my head because I associate these sounds with what I’ve heard in movies? Disney cartoon is coming to my head. Running through the forest. Cheshire Cat. I was expecting something else after that talk. Tuba and viola, I believe, just walked off stage.
Now it sounds like we’re back at the fair! As if we had fallen asleep and had a weird dream. People who walked off are playing different music backstage…the musicians who are on stage have a sound effect type of deal going on. The two orchestras create the feeling that we’re in two places at once–body in one place, mind in another. Musicians are coming back now…
Now it comes full circle, the music continually transitions almost as if rewinding, back to the atmosphere of the opening, closing with the people who had walked on at the beginning exiting with equal starkness.
I am hungry and I can’t wait to have a drink at the post-show reception.
I found The Transitionists, Theme Magazine’s current issue, particularly inspiring. According to editors Jiae and John, ‘Transitionists travel in between design and art, creating a dialog between their commercial and personal work, playing off the constraints and perks of each discipline. The end result is better work.‘ I find this idea of Transitionists relevant not just to the designers and artists on whom the magazine focuses, but to any musician/entrepreneur and others who are also pursuing multiple endeavors in the classical music world.
I read the magazine cover to cover. This issue really hit home: as many artists/designers are averse to being categorized as one or the other, or both (although they are clearly doing both), artists in other disciplines may have similar concerns about how they are perceived. Definitely understandable; for example, tell people you teach the piano and you’re a ‘piano teacher’ (image: old lady in the suburbs who missed her chance after getting married and having kids). You want people to think of you as what you want to be. A single label eventually seems to have some sort of power over who we are or what we will become.
I’ve struggled with the idea of being a pianist, a business person, and a teacher. (Mainly the former two). As a musician, I feel like I don’t do enough, although I do as much as I possibly can. There is this guilt that many of us encounter when we’re not spending every waking moment with the instrument, practicing into oblivion, because that is what a musician is supposed to do. (There are also unwritten rules about what we’re supposed to wear to be taken ‘seriously…’ more on that later.) I’m sure I’m not the first to grapple with the question of what they are supposed to be doing to deserve, it seems, the privilege to be called a musician (especially when not following a typical path).
Now we can be happy to know there’s another option besides adhering to a super sticky label: we too can be Transitionists, using different talents to enrich one another. For instance, teaching allows a musician to learn more about the craft by having to demonstrate and talk about it, starting a concert series creates an opportunity to turn those isolated hours in the practice room into something meaningful. Multiple undertakings are normally viewed as constraints by uncreative minds. These alleged constraints could instead be used to guide one another.
I could write an entire thesis about the Transitionist movement and classical music here, but I will spare you. Luckily, Theme has an issue full of inspiring interviews and visuals. If you were unable to pick up a copy of Theme at our soiree, you can get it at any proper bookstore or subscribe here (which I would recommend, as this magazine kicks ass and it took me years to find a true favorite! Added bonus: it smells good).
How do you get people out of their aparments on one the snowiest nights of the year? We have your answer: party with NCP at LPR! Special thanks to (le) Poisson Rouge for helping host the NCP Holiday Soiree! It was an all around good time made complete with the “I Lost My Tooth” stamp, tasty NCP Holiday Cocktails, and some really good looking people! Props to Renee, the bartender/mixologist, who was a delight! Not to mention, she whipped up a mean batch of the NCP Holiday cocktail. I hope you all tipped her well ;)
Also, we hope you enjoyed your gift bags! Remember that in each bag there is a coupon for free admission for you and a guest to an LPR member show. LPR has some fantastic events coming up, so I’m sure you will all put those to good use. In addition, if you want to be seen hanging out at LPR more often, they have some sweet membership options. Event and membership details available here: http://lepoissonrouge.com/
Thanks again to all for coming out – we can’t wait to see you next time!
Who: You+The Nouveau Classical Project
Where: (le) Poisson Rouge
Why??? Open wine bar, Goodie Bags sponsored by Theme Magazine+ LPR (includes a concert ticket to an exclusive member show); support The Nouveau Classical Project’s mission to keep classical music alive through innovative events+supporting up-and-coming composers
When: This Saturday, December 5, 5-9 pm
Where to get tickets?! http://ncpholiday.eventbrite.com for $12 advance tickets (or $15 door at the event)