So, having attended two of the MATA Festival concerts last week at Le Poisson Rouge, it would seem that there certain partisans of new music who would prefer that it remain the exclusive province of conservatory-trained composers that write occasionally engaging, often rigid pieces that one appreciates mostly in abstraction. But, see, that's crap. Because real music has always been - or at least should be - about being moved.
On Wednesday night, Japanese sound artist Sawako filled the room with MacBook sounds occasionally accompanied by violins and water glasses. Her music was delicate and ethereal, like the fractals projected on the wall behind her.
David Moore, who played new and old compositions with his band Bing and Ruth, was an unconventional choice for MATA: his musicians didn't use sheet music, and the whole thing often felt closer to jazz than new music. Twice, his music was amplified by the work of filmmaker Sebastian Cros: heroic music backing the shadow of a man running, pensive sounds to accompany grainy images of an older woman staring out her window. By the end of the set, David's music had the full-throttle sound of a church choir, landing like some kind of revival. I'm not sure what it all meant, but it was frogging powerful.
Afterward, I heard some polarized reactions to David's set, everything from: "I loved it," to "I don't get it," to "It went on way too long." I suppose everyone's entitled to their opinion, but in a world that's tripping over itself to celebrate the 45th anniversary of In C, you'd think folk would be a bit more open-minded. (More pics below.)
P.S. Speaking of In C, you can download the original recording for free from Amazon here.