Saturday, October 14, 2006

Shrapnel sequel

I told you I'd be back sooner than you thought. I even did some culture last night n' stuff. First, however, comes all the random things I wanted to mention yesterday.

1!) I've been listening to Ornette Coleman again lately, mainly suckered in by his bizarre "Bach Prelude" on the album Tone Dialing. The first half is Denardo going to town underneath the guitarist playing that insufferable arrangement of the first cello prelude. It seems like he's trying to do "Lonely Woman" again except he's not bothering to write his own head. However, at the end of the prelude the band takes the repeat, except everything is 200% apeshit. As a corollary, Ethan Iversen has a completely terrifying post about Coleman. That man drops theses like illegitimate children.

2!) Steve Reich turned 70! That's much years! I hope I can still enact my secret plan to convince him to write a guitar quartet, but it will involve me becoming important first. While New York has all the big shindigs, including the most important concert ever (Reich's two seminal albums, performed live before you!), all the celebrating I got to do was the Boston Conservatory Percussion Ensemble's performance of Six Marimbas. I hadn't gotten a chance to see one of his process pieces live, and recordings are never able to really capture that shimmering omnipresent chord that the marimba ostinatos make. I'm plotting my own Reich @ 70 concert for Boston, but that is still only plotting.

3!) I am still a guitarist, and I got a chance to indulge that by seeing Isaac Bustos last night at the Old South Church. Fantastic venue with a warm sound despite all the stone, and Bustos really punched his tone out into the crowd. Opening with the Bach Prelude, Fugue and Allegro was a daring choice, especially since it was an audible. Having played the PFA for my senior recital, I had kind of forgotten that it's a rather light melody as far as Bach's works go, as opposed to an unstoppable monster that wants to claim all of your limbs. Bustos had a smile on his face the whole time and gave a very nimble treatment to a series of wrist-shattering works like Le Catedral (In a cathedral! Get it? Get it?), Ponce's Sonata Meridonial, and Rodrigo's Sonata Giocosa. The strange thing for me was that absolutely everyone in the audience played classical guitar, at least at a hobbyist level. What other concerts could you even concieve of that? (Vocal recitals don't count just because everyone is physically capable of singing.) Classical music may have been walling itself off a bit in the recent past, but the guitar community seems pretty damn fortified. I might be thinking of this the wrong way, Thom Yorke said everyone can play guitar. Maybe it's a sign of the guitar's inclusiveness.

Also I switched my blog over to Blogger Beta, so if the layout gets a bit hegulated it's because I'm not used to what I'm doing yet. Fie!

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