Friday, September 14, 2007

No Disassembly Required

Sequenza21 writes about a New York concert series, Wordless Music, which presents programs that must be fascinating--if just to study the audience:
"For a series only slightly over a year old, Wordless Music has made astonishing waves. Givony’s brainchild, which he only anticipated lasting two or three concerts, ends up in the black from ticket sales alone and has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker. His programs aim to be half-classical, half-rock, though he estimates about 90% of the audience comes for the latter. While such a programming style may not meet the curatorial standards of Lincoln Center, he tries to create sensible musical pairings. When he was able to secure Beirut for a concert on September 20th, for instance, he thought programming some Osvaldo Golijov would complement the band’s Balkan, Levantine sounds. Other times, however, Givony scrapes together a half-hour of classical music and sees whatever decent band he can get. So far, so good."

The philosophy stated on the Wordless Music website says the series is:
"...devoted to the idea that the sound worlds of classical and contemporary instrumental music--in genres such as indie rock, free jazz, and electronic music--share more in common than conventional thinking might suggest...It will also demonstrate that the various boundaries and genre distinctions segregating music today--"popular" and "classical"; "uptown" and "downtown"; "high" art and "low"--are an artificial construction in need of dismantling."

Listening to the conversations between the musicians associated with MYO, I'd say that music genres are more like books stored side-by-side on a shelf, separated only by their covers--or like tracks on a CD, separated by the tiniest of digital gaps. Very little dismantling required.

Here's Julian Lloyd Weber on the SBYO and El Sistema. And another interesting program in Tuscon:
"If this is what music can do, how can you know about this and not do anything about it?"

The Dallas Latin Youth Orchestra: What an interesting idea.

Photo by Michelle Holland

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