Last night, I stopped by Federal Hall—caddy-corner from the NY Stock Exchange and site of Washington's first inauguration—for Anna Clyne's The Violin: a multimedia piece for two violins, played by Cornelius Dufallo (formerly of the ETHEL quartet) and Amy Kauffman (MET Orchestra), with projected visuals by Josh Dorman.
Clyne's music, which mixed live and prerecorded tracks, was shimmering and ethereal, floating through the darkened, domed space while the audience sat on the bare marble floor. Clyne, who currently serves as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's composer-in-residence, has clearly used her time in the Windy City wisely, emerging as one of today's most exciting, emotionally charged young composers.
I had the chance to catch up with Anna briefly afterwards, and we spoke about some of the exciting programs she's been involved with in Chicago, including the innovative Music Now series which presents contemporary music at a theater downtown, with free beer and pizza afterwards. Anna told me that, while she misses New York, her residency in Chicago was just renewed for another two seasons. "After that, I'm definitely coming back!" she said, not entirely convincingly.
The performance, part of this year's ongoing River to River Festival, was presented by Paola Prestini's Original Music Workshop—a contemporary-music performance space set to open next year in Williamsburg. Until then, Prestini and crew have taken the show on the road with their "Ex Situ" series, taking advantage of existing, underused sites throughout the city.
The final show in the series takes place tomorrow night at Pier 17 on the South Street Seaport and features pianist Hauschka, cellist Jeffrey Ziegler (Kronos Quartet), and percussionist Samuli Kosminen. The concert is free, and has an alternate site if it happens to start raining.
More pics on the photo page.