Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Seven Moments of Substance

A "transformational figure" indeed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Austere Music

Blew threw Paul Auster's The Music of Chance. NYTimes reviewer Michiko Kakutani's nails it by describing this quick, tense read "as a chilling little story that's entertaining and provocative, resonant without being overly derivative." Auster simultaneously presents an existential wasteland and a riveting what-happens-next narrative. No small feat.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Welcome to The Fall

Serious love/hate at Metacritic for Tarsem Singh's The Fall. We loved it! What an incredible oft-improvised-apparently performance by 5 year-old Catinca Untaru. Singh's audacious use of 24 countries and no CGI apparently places the film in the lineage of other visual jawdroppers/fables like Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and The Princess Bride. See it for yourself. You probably won't have a lukewarm reaction.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Glorious Bodies

Caught the second of six Saturdays of Olivier Messiaen's organ music yesterday afternoon. My old boss when I interned at Knitting Factory eleven years ago Steve Smith reviews the first concert here. What incredible music, played with equal parts stoic calm and religious fervor by organist John Scott. I can't make the next one but I will be back in November. I won't say that I had a Christian epiphany or anything like that ('cause thats just not how I roll), but listening to the fourth movement of "Les Corps Glorieux," "Combat de la Mort et de la Vie," (check the Youtube link included in this post) definitely induced some religulous ecstasy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sho nuff

What a beautiful concert last night of traditional and new music for gagaku winds at the Japan Society around the corner from the UN. Amazing to hear such virtuosi sho, ryuteki and hichiriki players. Much thanks to my friend flutist Kaoru Watanabe who hooked up a... um... more affordable ticket. What a treat! There were three premieres plus a couple other pieces by contemporary composers, but for me the highlights were the five traditional pieces they played.

Happy Belated Birthday, Thelonious

Meant to do this yesterday, but the day got away. Happy birthday Monk! The man would be 91.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Amina, seriously

An elegant evening of music last night at the kitchen. Personal highlights included an epic piano duo (duel? no... wrong word) between Amina Claudine Myers and Muhal Richard Abrams, and a gorgeous, lush, tonal (?!?) piece for string quintet and voice by Roscoe Mitchell. Looking forward to the second of these evenings Saturday when Sara plays contrabassoon on George Lewis' piece.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Foolish, in Brooklyn

Surprisingly mixed reviews here for Paul Auster's engrossing read "The Brooklyn Follies." Maybe its our Slope-adjacent zip code, but from page one's evocations of early90s pre-millions-of-dollars Prospect Park-facing brownstones, I was sucked in and am zooming on through. Nice to finally read Auster, who everybody always lauds and maybe thats why I hadn't got to him yet. But I'll read more of him; he's a fantastic storyteller.