It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since P.S.1 began hosting the weekly beach party known as Warm Up. Held each Saturday in July and August in the former school courtyard in front of the museum, Warm Up can lay claim to having the most diverse, down-to-earth mix of people of any "dance club" in New York. And, while it may not have the palm trees of Ibiza or Miami, that same sweaty, outdoor vibe prevails.
For it's 10th year, P.S.1 Director of Public Programming David Weinstein said he wanted to kick things off with "an incantation," inviting So Percussion to reprise the infectiously-rhythmic show they played last weekat Citysol (including selections from Steve Reich's Drumming.) But, due to Citysol's partial rainout, the P.S.1 show turned out to be the premiere of So member Jason Treuting's 16 words, inspired by the sixteen words added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2007. For the performance, So was joined by guitarists Grey McMurray and Ryan Ferreira; unfortunately, there were only 100 or so people around to hear it.
There was a much larger crowd to hear Conduction pioneer Butch Morris, who I hadn't seen since his Barbes residencyin February. For those who need a refresher, Morris developed Conduction back in the mid 70's, using a baton and a complex series of gestures that not only control tempi and dynamics, but also elements of phrasing, key and pitch, so that no actual "score" is needed. The music ends up falling somewhere between free jazz and contemporary classical.
For the P.S.1 show, Morris assembled a band twice the size of the one at Barbes, adding percussion and guitars to the collection of brass and wind players to give the music a rhythmic, almost danceable quality. Suffice to say, some folks pulled it off better than others...
The DJ's took over from there, sending the crowd into an ecstatic frenzy, where the bit of rain that fell was nothing but welcome. Get yourself to Long Island City one of these Saturdays and check it out for yourself. (More pics after the jump.)