Friday, February 29, 2008

The Bang on a Can Baton Rouge Marathon was…

sneaky phone shot of the Bang on a Can setup from backstage of the finest concerts I have ever witnessed, all five glorious hours of it. Musicians of the highest caliber, music composed with intricacy and passion, delivered with the perfect balance of wit and reverence. I'm writing up a more formal review of it, so more to come, but suffice to say it was awe inspiring. If you ever get a chance to see one of their marathons, DO IT. I don't know the last time I felt this invigorated the day after a concert, like there is important work to be done.

The added plus was hearing some of the LSU faculty and their genius on the program (some of those guys need to start leaving the recital hall and start showing the common people on how shit gets done…Griff Campbell), getting to meet and talk to Don Byron, and seeing some fellow new music freaks that I haven't seen in years.

If you are not into Iva Bittová, get into her. She's a Romani singer who mixes sensual folk melodies with screeches and bird calls and demonic possession howls, all while grinding away on a fiddle. For art music, it is sexy as hell, and for folk/world music it is, well... still sexy as hell.

Equally or maybe even more sexy was the perfomance by Julliard cellist Victoria Bass whose dramatic rendition of Berio's Sequenza XIV was nothing short of astonishing. She did more with two fingers, while beating on the cello's body with the other hand, than most other bands can do with a full ensemble, looking wilder and scarier than the most monstrous corpsepainted metalhead.

1 comment: