Vicky Chow & Owen Weaver perform music by Christopher Cerrone and John Luther Adams. Monday, April 22 at 7 PM Tickets $10 advance, $12 day of show (le) poisson rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, New York, NY ..:: Website
Cantaloupe Café Presents: David Lang + Shelter
David Lang discusses his newly released CD, Shelter. This casual, relaxed evening will be the first in a series of concerts and conversations hosted by Cantaloupe Music and the founders of the Bang on a Can collective. Lang will be joined by the three solo vocalists from Shelter, who will perform the choral piece “I Want to Live.” Monday, April 22 at 7:30 PM Tickets $20, which includes CD Strand Books, Corner of 12th Street and Broadway, New York, NY ..:: Website [Read more →]
“Why are we holding a new music fundraiser in a Chicago rock bar?” Organizer Doyle Armbrust was the first to ask that question, to an audience at a concert he organized. Dressed like a rock musician himself—black pants, black blazer, black designer T-shirt, and a beard—he looked a little like Tim Heidecker in The Comedy. Yet untrue to that archetype, he’s not a dick. He’s generous enough with his time to have spent the last month convening fourteen ensembles to raise money for a music label he’s never worked for and located in a different city.
Last March, and for two nights only, Brooklyn Village was performed in Downtown Brooklyn. Advertised as a “multimedia spectacular,” the show took the audience on a time travel to honor the cultural heritage of Downtown Brooklyn, and showcased the trifecta of what some people call Brooklyn’s cultural renaissance: the newly “rebooted” Brooklyn Phil, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus (BYC) and Roulette.
Alan Pierson and the Brooklyn Philharmonic – Photo by Joshua Simpson
From the very beginning, the retro, era-bending tone was set since the program itself came in the form of a fake issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eaglewhose date had been carefully smeared to remain intentionally vague. The “articles” introduced the pieces, the performers and the composers in a mockingly sensational way (Brooklyn Indie Rock Musician Sufjan Stevens Detained by NYPD). The dramatic dimension was introduced by Alan Pierson who greeted the entire hall with great enthusiasm (I’m paraphrasing): in these uncertain times of crisis, what Brooklyn needs is more music! Pierson thanked the people who bravely crossed the frozen east river on a sled, and the audience seemed to enjoy the good-natured, humorous atmosphere.
Her name might ring a bell since Steven Berryman reviewed her first CD last year for I Care if You Listen… Aisha Orazbayeva is a Kazakh-born violinist that is making a solid name for herself in the new classical music world. Aisha was in town for a professional development workshop and a series of concerts at Carnegie Hall (one of them reviewed by David Pearson) and we were really happy to hang out with her between two rehearsals. We met at the beautiful Mirrortone Studios in Manhattan. Roman Molino Dunn and Jay Rothman kindly welcomed us in their state-of-the-art midtown facility. Aisha performs Morton Feldman For Aaron Copland at 8:48.
More than anything else, words like natural and effortless come to mind when listening to Chris Thile’s music. Not that it looks effortless as he spasms during his improvisations, or paces about making excited gestures at the other musicians when laying out. And there’s certainly nothing effortless about the work that goes into becoming a virtuoso. But Thile’s musicianship is on that rare level where his mind and his music are one, and what bursts forth from his dextrous fingers sounds less like notes and chords, and more like smears and stabs of pure emotion. Thile doesn’t make it look easy, he makes it look unconscious, like breathing or blinking. Much like his frequent collaborator Edgar Meyer, Thile has managed to not only blend Americana with European classical elements in unprecedented ways, but has also utterly redefined what anyone thought was technically possible on his instrument. From selling gold records with Nickel Creek as a teenager to premiering his magnificent chamber suite, The Blind Leaving the Blind, with Punch Brothers at Carnegie Hall in 2009, to appearing on Yo-Yo Ma’s bluegrass-inspired outing The Goat Rodeo Sessions, Thile’s career has been defined by unimaginable virtuosity and relentless artistic growth. Over the course of two performances with the mighty Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, I had the joy of witnessing the full breadth of Thile’s creativity and musical ability, from short improvisations at the intimate Galapagos Art Space to a performance of his large-scale concerto for mandolin and orchestra, Ad Astra per Alas Porci (“to the stars on the wings of a pig”) at Carnegie Hall.
The San Francisco Symphony’s Centennial Season has featured many interesting events, notably lengthening the travel itineraries for six of the top Orchestras nationwide for San Francisco stops to celebrate its big year. However, a homegrown element of the celebratory Centennial has been a re-birth of Michael Tilson Thomas’ American Mavericks festival, which last ran in 2000. The series as a whole will likely prove to test the ‘Mavericks’ ideal, and tonight’s program proved a perfect example of how the conservativism of Orchestras in a middling economy can affect a festival’s message and meaning, yet how clever programming can still yield a unique evening.
Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the SFS in the Opening Concert of the American Mavericks Festival (Photo Kristen Loken)
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