Music Encounter Session

thanks to Mary Harrsch at Flickr (linked) for views from the ancient world

thanks to Mary Harrsch at Flickr (linked) for views from the ancient world

Hello friendly animals who read Notes on Looking,

I claim the term “animals” for us because, like our friends in the forests and deserts and jungles, music enchants the wild creature in our hearts. And the music that I will recommend to you will also stretch your very human brain and sharpen that undefinable soul that you carry inside of you. Just like the art that you make (-;

Moving forward and desperately trying to keep events in the order of what is next:

PIANO SPHERES, September 20 at 8 pm at Zipper Hall at the Colburn School:

Gloria Cheng will play:

Bernard Rands – Preludes (U.S. Premiere)

Gavin Bryars – Ramble on Cortona (U.S. Premiere)

Oliver Knussen – Ophelia’s Last Dance

Harrison Birtwistle – Betty Freeman: Her Tango

George Benjamin – Relativity Rag

Samuel Barber – Hesitation Tango

If I could tell you something enlightening about each of the composers and pieces that Cheng is going to play, then I would do so believe me. I can’t. I do recall spending hours and hours listening to YouTube bootlegs of a New York Phil premiere of George Benjamin’s beautiful music a few years ago. Cannot remember the title, and it has long since been taken down. BUT every concert that I have seen at Piano Spheres in the last five years has been wonderful, and each in different ways. “Aah, the simplicity of a solo piano,” I thought to myself the first time I attended, “this should be quiet and helpful in my plan to learn about music.” Damn if I didn’t have my ears pealed back and stuck to the back of my head. I have learned about music, and sometimes have spent a quiet evening listening but never have I rested during a concert – music at this scale is powerful. Zipper Hall is a small venue with perfect acoustics (this according to scientists who should know) and the feeling is like attending a private event held among friends.

Tickets are not expensive, too!! Yay. $25 each, $20 if you buy the season.

Piano Spheres tickets.

Piano Spheres website where you will be able to read Cheng’s program notes for her concert soon.

GREEN UMBRELLA, Tuesday, October 4 at Disney Hall:

Otto Tausk conducts the LA Phil New Music Group

Zosha di Castri – La forma dello spazio

Morton Feldman – Viola in My Life Nos. 1 and 2 (yes Steve Roden, this one is calling out to you – we know your weaknesses)

Toru Takemitsu – Rain Coming

Um, um, um, di Castri I am not familiar with but Feldman and Takemitsu are pretty important historically.

Since Zosha di Castri may be the least familiar, and because she is young enough to have tons of stuff online, I offer you Zosha di Castri speaking (and with music) at the New England Conservatory Young Composers Series Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Also this fairly crazy Vimeo spot with three players using voice, a fake mustache, an electronic fan, spittle, fun acting, three colors and more. (Thanks to Julia Sherman for maintaining a generous Vimeo page.)

Green Umbrella tickets and website for more information. Tickets for this series at LA Phil range from $43 to $ 63, and I suggest visiting the box office to save yourself the additional fees.

JACARANDA MUSIC, October 15 and 16 at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, 1220 2nd Street, 90401:

A Vast Clearing

Nico Muhly – Clear Music

Philip Glass – String Quartet No. 5, and Another Look at Harmony IV

btw – oceans of Glass are happening this year. Pay attention, visit Glass Pages for calendar information and book your seats.

And Nico freaking Muhly!! Come on you guys! Not only does Muhly write great music but he’s cute, too! What more could you want?

Jacaranda Website

Jacaranda have several price points: $35 for general admission, $15 for students, and two or three 50% off plans for new subscribers. Go to town on Tickets Here.

Thanks and link to LAist, FYF 2009 crowd shot from them.

Thanks and link to LAist, FYF 2009 crowd shot from them.


My friends, any one of these concerts, or indeed all of them, may be ‘not exactly your thing’ but still, as persons of culture and/or as artists, this music must be listened to, experienced, considered, and then one is free to do with it what one will.

You went to FYF, now try a few concerts that will really fuck with your head.

Smiling and leaving you,



MONDAY EVENING CONCERTS begins in December and SASSAS has things beginning already in September:

A supportive listening party with music selected by Meg Cranston, Kevin Hanley and Brian Kennon on September 18, tickets are $125 and all you $$$$ go to supporting programing. Yay.

In fact, the money from the listening party will pay for such programing as a FREE CONCERT at Kings Road Park on September 24:

John Schneider – Just Guitars

SASSAS Listening Party information

SASSAS Sound at Kings Road with John Schneider information

Now I’m done.

If I missed anything, you know how to find me.


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