Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What takes sixteen sticks & four hearts?

Last night my friend Len, who always knows he can call me at the last moment, invited me to join him for a free percussion concert in the Winter Garden. By percussion I do not mean the construction going on at night in the pit of the World Trade Center... this was the uber talented and hip group So Percussion performing three pieces of new music. They played beads, coils of metal, flower pots, xylophones, and a variety of drums. The music was melodic, varied, enticing, and recorded live for the New Sounds Live radio program at WNYC 93.9. I loved it all, but by the last piece I was ready for it to end, percussion is not soothing, like mime or opera in subtitles, it takes extra concentration to enter their world. Funny how less makes more in ignoring perspective or light source in painting or writing haiku, people take some choices away and what is left evokes all.

The talented Ms. Lisa Moore played a variety of percussive instruments and mostly the Steinway grand in the Martin Bresnick piece as images by Goya filled the stage. I did this sketch of her. But Arvo Part's Fratres for Percussion Quartet and Paul Lansky's Threads were just as wonderful, even without the pianist.

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