Ted, who I didn't know had a blog until just now, has an accurate telling of our show Friday night. And let me just say, if you thought listening to that conversation was strange...trying being in the middle of it! There were seriously points where I had no idea what was going on! Birds were singing; cats were purring; impersonations were being done. It was totally surreal.
The conversation itself has apparently become known as "the most tense and uncomfortable twenty minutes in the history of concert going." (...and the concert on the whole was also called "controversial," in addition to the "innovative" New York Magazine gave us in their listing. - Awesome.) This is not a quotation from anyone in particular, but rather one culled from assorted buzz, and while it is no doubt hyperbolic, I can't help but wonder if, from a concert going experience, this is a good thing.
I mean, why shouldn't there be moments of tension at events like these? I am honestly pretty tired of everything being so nice all the time, because, you know what, that's fakery. I secretly love it when these "old coots" as C>T> called them, like Rzewski and even Andriessen are interviewed, and just sort of give the interviewer hell. I have learned, through spending time with both of these gents, that this apparent aggression is really just a high level intellectual discourse, where you speak your mind, freely, disagree openly, and then move on to the bar. Passion lives neatly alongside detachment. For example, for however much we disagreed during our talk, Frederic was lovely and grateful after the show, as well as the next morning when I saw him. (Oh, and hey Park Central Hotel: get your act together! You are a drunken mess! But I digress...)
And to be honest, when you call an event "Which Side Are You On? - Music By, For, and Against Frederic Rzewski" - you are sort of inviting confrontation. As for Frederic talking through the second half, what can you do? I think that that's one of the things that we relinquished when we left the strictly-classical world. Ted hits is just right in his post actually. And it's not like you couldn't hear the music over it. Trust me, you could. It was loud. I just hope that the recording doesn't pick that up in Ted's piece, which has some wonderfully delicate bits.
As for his notion that there are no boundaries to be obliterated, I'll save that for my forthcoming New Amsterdam post. All I will say for now is that I cannot imagine Rzewski's The Price of Oil, or really many of the pieces in our rep at a classical venue. Not that we wouldn't love to play there. I just suspect that these venues might just not know what to do with us. I feel like we'd be too loud for their resonant spaces and they'd want us to turn down. (We've been there before...) Plus, where would they place us in their elaborate marketing schemes?! Either way, I guess time will tell on this one.