Posted by Evan Burke » 6 Comments »
One would think that music and spoken word are two of the most complimentary art forms. They seem like they should be a perfect match; next to music, spoken word is the medium most reliant on pitch and rhythm, not to mention abstract concepts like cadence, consonance and dissonance. But the combination is a risky endeavor. One often hears music/spoken word collaborations that serve to diminish both components, with each distracting from the other, interfering with each other as opposed to providing contrast or counterpoint. But if there is a musical entity that could successfully marry the two, it’s Kronos Quartet, whose experience working in unusual musical settings is as wide as anyone’s. Working with authors Rula Jebreal, Marjane Satrapi, and Tony Kushner, they brought their experimental energies to the Metropolitan Museum for an evening-length work titled “Exit Strategies”.
Kronos Quartet – Photograph by Michael Wilson
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Posted by Evan Burke » 7 Comments »
Throughout his career, much ink has been spilled concerning Fazil Say’s place at a cultural crossroads. Born and raised in Turkey, Say’s work as an interpreter has run from Bach and Mozart to Bartok and Gershwin, while as a composer his work blends European classicism with Turkish elements, as well as an occasionally jazzy aesthetic. From my perspective, however, Say also sits at an equally fascinating historical crossroads, as his concert on April 20th at the Metropolitan Museum of Art demonstrated beautifully.
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Posted by Thomas Deneuville » 2 Comments »
As this season was drawing to an end, the Metropolitan Museum was announcing the next, a couple of weeks ago, in the beautiful Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. Curated by Limor Tomer, this new season will feature some edgy shows, some new music performed on historical instruments from the Sau Wing Lam Collection, and a year-long partnership with Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky.
DJ Spooky – Photo by Mike Figgis
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To celebrate the renovation of the Metropolitan Museum’s New American Wing Galleries for Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts, Asphalt Orchestra—”Not your mother’s marching band” (The Philadelphia Inquirer)—performed in the American Wing’s Charles Engelhard Court.
The performance featured a world premiere arrangement by Ben Holmes of the Hymns Cavalry by Daniel Read and Sons of Sorrow by William Hauser from the distinctly American shape note singing tradition, inspired by field recordings from the 1940s-1960s; Carlton by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, a work commissioned by Bang on a Can for the Asphalt Orchestra; an arrangement by Stephanie Richards of the Laneville-Johnson Union Brass Band’s Wild About My Daddy; and an arrangement by Peter Hess of Frank Zappa’s Zomby Woof.
The program was choreographed specifically for the Engelhard Court by Mark DeChiazza and Susan Marshall (note that this edited video does not fully reflect the choreography).
■ Asphalt Orchestra http://www.asphaltorchestra.com
■ Bang on a Can http://www.bangonacan.org
■ Metropolitan Museum http://www.metmuseum.org