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May 2009


After yesterdays performance of David Lang's "give me," it only makes sense to hear Julia Wolfe's "Thirst" from "Water," with the Ars Nova and Athelas Sinfonietta, both of Copenhagen. The way the chorus and strings bounce around in here is haunting and stirring, like an eastern orthodox rite. Which, of course, makes me think of Part, though Julia tends to give the women more of a voice. Of course.IMG00064.jpg

Free Time

New jazz pioneers Henry Grimes and Andrew Cyrille are creating a holy mess of sound right now, totally improvised and bad ass. "We'll call this one 'The Perfect Thing'" Grimes says beforehand. This must be a whole other kind of perfect, then: they come dangerously close to cacophony, before folding in eastern rhythms and polyphonic textures that shimmer and glow; when Grimes switches from bass to violin, he almost sounds tonal Almost. I can't even begin to understand how these guys know what to do when, there are so many ideas flying around here. When you've been doing this stuff for fifty years, though, it's probably easier than breathing. IMG00062.jpg

Killing Time

Q: How do you kill time while waiting for the amps to be replaced? A: If you're Bill Frisell, you play an improv version of "When You Wish Upon a Star," and hope for the best. (Pictured: Bill Frisell and the Bang on a Can All Stars, performing an as-yet- untitled new piece.)IMG00061.jpg