Classical Music is Dead*

Read It and Weep: Adventures with the NCP Shirt

Posted in Uncategorized by Rachel Christensen on 08/13/2009


WHERE: Chelsea Market (9th Ave & 15th St)

WHEN: July 11, 2009 (afternoon)

WHAT: Me eating a sandwich while wearing the infamous Nouveau Classical Project “Classical Music is Dead” shirt and listening to a chamber group play Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.” A stranger asks to sit at my table and listens for a minute. She then looks at me and says, “You probably shouldn’t be wearing that shirt.” I glance down briefly, look back at her, and reply, “Actually, I’m a classical musician.” Confused, she stares and asks, “So what does your shirt mean?” I attempt to explain the concept of irony to her and tell her a little about NCP. She nods, but I’m not sure if she understood.

WHY: I found the excerpt below on the New Yorker’s website today (August 12, 2009). Farley Katz and Thomas Pynchon seem to get it:

I first met Thomas Pynchon at a crowded bar in the East Village. He was wearing a shirt that cleverly read “I am not Thomas Pynchon,” but I knew it was him when he pointed to the shirt and silently mouthed, “Actually, I am Thomas Pynchon, but let’s just keep that between the two of us.” (

Need I say more? Someone get Mr. Katz and Mr. Pynchon an NCP shirt, immediately.

-Rachel Christensen