Classical Music is Dead*

Live Blogging- CONTACT! at Symphony Space

Posted in music by Sugar Vendil on 12/17/2009

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.


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