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April 2009

In C @ 45

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"Climaxes of great sonority and high complexity appear and are dissolved into the endlessness. At times you feel you  have never done anything all your life long but listen to this music and as if that is all or ever will be." 
(Alfred Frankenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, November, 1964)

The biggest, most captivating performance of In C I've ever heard. And, the most brilliant, understated use of a conductor (Dennis Russell Davies) I've ever seen. (More pics below.)

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High Time

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It took 45 years for Terry Riley's In C to make it to Carnegie Hall, but if Kronos Quartet founder/concert organizer David Harrington is to be believed, tonight's performance should be one for the ages. In addition to Kronos, Riley and all of the original performers will be present (save for the conspicious absence of Pauline Oliveros and Steve Reich). They will be joined by composers Philip GlassOsvaldo Golijov, and Scott JohnsonThe National's Bryce Dessner, the great bandish singer Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khanmembers of the Bang on a Can All Stars and So Percussion, and close to fifty others. Tickets are apparently still available, so if you've never seen it live, tonight's your night. (Photo taken at last year's Bang on a Can Summer Marathon, Mass MoCA.)

Club Symphony

Club Symphony

Michael Gordon's Trance, an hour-long work for acoustic and electronic orchestra, was rocked by Signal tonight in the middle of the Le Poisson Rouge floor. It starts out with Gordon's signature bass drum crashes and blasts of brass before entering a long slow fade that reflects the title. From there, it goes back and forth between slow and deafening, the drummer whaling away on a battery of percussion instruments. Simple and cinematic, it's a big-time experience, made all the more intense by LPR's stage lights and close quarters. Like having your head pulled in and out of a coke furnace. ( More pics below.)

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