Monday, April 6, 2009

"I Sing the Body Electric"

The Ray Bradbury title came to mind this morning as I reflected on Alan Terricciano's concert Saturday night and read in today's New York Times about conductor David Robertson's performance with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
First, Alan's concert featured mostly non-arboreal work--pieces commissioned or conceived for contemporary dance that, while often whimsical and quirky in nature, exhibited the high integrity of formal composition reflecting Alan's Yale & Eastman School of Music training, audibly influenced by modern American masters like Aaron Copland. Regarding "New Music for House Plants," back by popular demand, Alan credited John Cage as an influence but it also made me think of Harry Partch, one of the true iconoclasts in American music. "Plants" was more or less free form playing on cacti, flax, fruits and vegetables, with a few children's toys thrown in for good measure, after which the audience was invited to mount the stage and experiment with these "instruments."
But, you'll really have to read the story about David Robertson's impromptu stand-in performance in the Times.
The upshot of all of this?
There's music everywhere.

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