Electronic Feed

Weekend Preview: 2/11-2/13

Friday, 2/11

Ethan Iverson at Roulette, 8pm

Ever since leaving The Bad Plus, the rock-jazz trio he co-founded in 2000, pianist Ethan Iverson has flourished as a solo artist while also branching out into composition.  This double bill features Iverson wearing both of his hats: on the first half, The New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra performs Ritornello, Sinfonias, and Cadenzas: a 45 minute through-composed work premiered in Italy last summer. Then, Iverson plays selections from his just-released album Every Note is True (Blue Note) with an all-star trio featuring bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Nasheet Waits.

New York Philharmonic with Yuja Wang at Alice Tully Hall, 8pm

The always captivating (and occasionally cringe-inducing) pianist Yuja Wang returns to the Phil to perform Franz Liszt’s explosive First Piano Concerto, part of an Eastern European program led by the young Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša that also includes Zoltan Kodály’s colorful Concerto for Orchestra and Bohuslav Martinů’s richly textured First Symphony (Repeats on Saturday).

Saturday, 2/12

Tristan Perich, Lesley Flanigan and Christopher Tignor at National Sawdust, 7:30pm

Very excited to see these three electroacoustic mavens, who haven't performed in NYC in more than two years. Tristan continues his exploration of 1-bit music with "Tone Patterns," (see above) featuring cascading harmonies of 1-bit tones generated by his own custom-built hardware. Lesley will perform "Subtonalities," featuring two sine-wave oscillators generating low-frequency tones that she'll combine with pitches from her own voice. And Christopher debuts new music for violin and percussion, along with his custom-built interactive live processing platform.

Flying Lotus at Carnegie Hall, 8pm

Part of Carnegie's ongoing (and somewhat curious) Afrofuturism festival, Grammy Award–winning producer, composer, and rapper Flying Lotus takes over the Stern Auditorium with a performance that promises "a transportive electroacoustic musical blend in Carnegie Hall’s unrivaled acoustics." Should be...different.

Sunday 2/13

No live music, but I (like most of America) will be watching the Super Bowl Halftime Show, which features hip hop for the very first time. Not exactly cutting edge - nothing the NFL does is - the show features a billionaire (Dr. Dre), a beer salesman (Snoop Dogg), a shill for the Home Shopping Network (Mary J. Blige), and a white kid from Detroit (Eminem). Fortunately, someone had the presence of mind to include the brilliant lyricist Kendrick Lamar, though I doubt he'll get as much airtime as his elders. Should start around 8pm.


"Sun & Sea" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music

by Steven Pisano

Sun and Sea BAM(All photos by Steven Pisano)

The beach season may be winding down along the area's shorelines, but at the Brooklyn Academy of Music it is just starting. After 18 months of its theaters being darkened by the pandemic, BAM opened its 2021-2022 season last week with "Sun & Sea," which has the unique distinction of being the first opera set entirely on a beach. (Unless you count Einstein on the Beach.)

To create that beach, workers unloaded 25 tons of sand into the Fishman Space. (After the show's run, the sand will be cleaned and reused.) This is where the performers sprawl out on their blankets and beach chairs, surrounded by food containers and toys and lots of beach stuff, singing softly and sometimes blandly to a gently melodic electronic score. At first, it almost seems innocuous, but a closer listen reveals a more ominous message. 

In 2019, "Sun & Sea" won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale--the festival's top prize. (See here for a video from that production.) The work was created by three young Lithuanian artists--director Rugile Barzdziukaite, librettist Vaiva Grainyte, and composer Lina Lapelyte.

Continue reading ""Sun & Sea" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music" »


Weekend Live Music Preview: 9/17-9/19

IMG_3029The summer may have unofficially ended on Labor Day weekend, but with a delayed reopening to live music thanks to COVID, things are still going strong here in NYC into the third week of September. Good thing we still have balmy temps and (relatively) clear skies. 

So here's a roundup of some of the best things happening this weekend, much of it outdoors. Man, look at all of this music!

Friday 9/17

Death of Classical presents Simone Dinnerstein, Green-Wood Cemetery, 7pm (Additional performances on 9/15 & 9/16.) Inspired by first responders, parents, caretakers, and all those affected by COVID-19, the famed pianist and Brooklyn native will lead the audience on a walk through the cemetery, pausing periodically to perform music by Bach and Richard Danielpour on several pianos that will be scattered along the route. $100, including a pre-concert reception.

Anzu Quartet Performs Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, Roulette, 8pm. Made up of veterans of Bang on a Can and other NYC new music ensembles, the Anzu Quartet (Ken Thomson, clarinet; Ashley Bathgate, cello; Olivia De Prato, violin; Karl Larson, piano) perform Messiaen's searing work of perseverance on the 80th anniversary of its premiere at the Stalag VIII-A Prisoner of War camp in Germany. $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

Celebrate Brooklyn: Mr Eazi/Bembona/AJO, 7pm. Nigerian superstar Mr Eazi brings the laidback rhythms of Banku music - which blends Ghanian highlife and Nigerian afrobeat - to the bandshell. New York-based AJO and Puerto Rican-Panamanian artist BEMBONA open. Free.

Saturday 9/18

Rite of Summer Music Festival, Governor's Island, 1pm and 3pm. For the conclusion of their 10th anniversary season, the Rite of Summer Music Festival is presenting new music stalwarts Alarm Will Sound in the NYC premiere of John Luther Adams' Ten Thousand Birds, inspired (as Messiaen was) by the songs of birds. Admission is free; the ferry (which leaves from both the Battery and Brooklyn) costs $3 roundtrip. 

The Great Long Meadow Fire, Radegast Beer Hall and Biergarten, 3pm. It's not too early to get your Oktoberfest on at Williamsburg's Radegast, where upstart brass band The Great Long Meadow Fire will put up some alt country, dark Americana and gospel blues to go with your Hofbrau. Free.

Brooklyn Americana Music Festival, Various Locations, 3pm (Additional performances 9/17-9/19.)  This annual festival of folk, roots, country blues, bluegrass, and all things Americana is back live this year with more than fifty shows at locations in and around DUMBO and Red Hook. Weekend shows are all free; others $20-25.

Celebrate Brooklyn: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue/Lady Blackbird/MICHELLE, 7:30pm. The electric Trombone Shorty and his explosive brass band brings down the curtain on this year's Celebrate Brooklyn Festival with their get-out-of-your-seat blend of hip hop, funk and NOLA groove. Get ready to dance! Free.

Sunday 9/19

New York Philharmonic, Alice Tully Hall, 2pm (Additional performances on 9/17 and 9/18.) Hot on the heels of the Met Opera's triumphant return last weekend with Verdi's Requiem, the Phil returns to Lincoln Center for the first time since March 2020 with a varied program of new and classic works, including music by Anna Clyne, Copland, and Beethoven's 4th piano concerto (with the amazing Daniil Trifonov.) As with most concerts this season, this program will be performed at Alice Tully while Geffen Hall receives its looooonnnng overdue renovation. Tickets $48-86.

Central Park Summerstage: Patti Smith and her Band, 7pm Patti was supposed to be part of the big NYC Homecoming concert on the Great Lawn last month, but unfortunately, Mother Nature had other ideas. Any chance to see this legend should not be missed - especially when it's outdoors in Central Park. Free.

Stephane Wrembel, Barbès, 9pm. We all probably took our share of things for granted before COVID, but one of the things I missed the most this past year was being able to roll down the hill Sunday nights to Barbès where Wrembel, the world's greatest exponent of Django Reinhardt's gypsy guitar music (as well as his own Oscar-nominated compositions), held court each week until the wee hours. Wrembel is back, and hopefully is here to stay. $20 suggested.