I interrupt this broadcast: Piano Spheres on May 10
(Hello from the future, May 3 to be exact. You are correct, this is not a new post (it dates from April 20).
BUT FAIR WARNING: Susan Svrcek’s concert is next Monday May 10, (TUESDAY Geoff, the 10th is Tuesday!), so I made this post sticky for a while. Enjoy! Skip down for some new posting, beginning May 5 with Camilo Ontiveros’s show at Steve Turner, Marie Jager’s show at Pepin Moore, and Homeboy Industries / Otis.)
(Back to normal on Thursday night. I’ll make this one sticky later.) (I like saying that!)
My friends, the good people of the City of the Angels and music lovers who have the ability to fly: the masterful Susan Svrcek will play Tom Johnson’s “An Hour for Piano” on Tuesday, May 10 at 8 PM at Zipper Hall in the Colburn School.
To orient you with this music, which is not familiar to me, I offer you a link to a YouTube page with at least one ten minute chunk of the music. (Aren’t fans delightful people? The dedication they bring to their passions!) The author of said YouTube page suggests reading Johnson’s own Album Notes as you listen to the music. I can vouch for the intelligence of this suggestion! I just read and listened for ten minutes and had a blast. Last year at MOCA they had an example of Carl Andre’s concrete poetry on view. This was a piece of typing paper with a story that, in my head, wound around and around and around. The words also wound around the page, and somehow the effect was doubled and trebled by the voice in my head. Listening to Johnson’s piano music while reading his notes has a similar, and similarly glorious, effect. (I am not able to find the particular piece online, so I uploaded another that I found.)
And good god, Susan Svrcek is a magnificent pianist. Last year she played a Xenakis piece that broke my heart and has stayed with me, an intact memory of being spellbound by her playing, in the perfect acoustic space of Zipper Hall. On that past night a thunderstorm hailed and rolled the city outside but even with that rare-in-LA event, the real magic was in Svrcek’s hands.
Do your best to come to Zipper Hall on May 10.
It is also true that Tom Johnson is author of “The Voice of New Music,” collected writings on music btwn 1972 and 1985 originally published in the Village Voice. Editions 75 offers the 1991 version as a pdf download here. On the same page, Editions 75 offers for sale Johnson’s 1996 “Self-Similar Melodies,” which is described as “The theory of the logical and mathematical techniques used by the composer: finite and infinite automata. the paper-folding formula, “self-replicating” melodies, etc. A rather detailed discussion, 291 pages, with many new melodies, written to demonstrate the techniques used.” As well, they have a book of 104 drawings by Johnson “Imaginary Music.” Each is $24.
Zipper Hall, Colburn School, 200 S. Grand Avenue. 90012. Have dinner beforehand at the Colburn School Cafeteria – good food, very reasonable.
(I need to give credit where it is due. The above Carl Andre image I hoovered up from http://rolu.terapad.com a worthwhile and fascinating site. Enjoy.)