October 4, 2016 § Leave a comment
I’m not a scene-ster. I don’t go to rock shows that start at 10 p.m. I didn’t score tickets to Desert Trip (AKA OldChella). Although I’ve lived in Silverlake for more than two decades, I’ve never set foot in Spaceland. (Or the Echo for that matter.)
So I was surprised to find myself in the midst of such a scene at Walt Disney Concert Hall this past Saturday. Food trucks parked on Grand! Scads of people–mostly young–moving in, out and around WDCH! Beer tastings in the Cafe! Drums and pianos in the garden!
It was the LA Phil’s first-ever 12-hour celebration of New Music, Noon to Midnight, curated by the godfather of New Music, John Adams, the Phil’s “Creative Chair.” For a mere $15, you had eight hours to feast on great works of contemporary music played inside and out of Disney Hall by up-and-coming local groups like wild Up and Jacaranda Then, beginning at 8, with a separate ticket to the LA Phil’s Green Umbrella concert, you got four world premiers conducted by Adams plus a wild Up after-concert concert of yet more premiers.
And then there were the crickets. From 9 to 11 p.m., a microphone amplified the sounds of 1,000 caged live crickets placed in the center of BP Hall, “calling to remembered landscapes that evoke the poetics and politics of place.”
The entire event was like that: immensely creative, a little wacky, brilliant, thought-provoking, annoying, and more.
Before giving a downbeat for the evening concert, John Adams took a microphone for some off-the-cuff remarks. When Green Umbrella concerts began in 1988, he said, New Music wasn’t even a blip on L.A.’s music horizon. Citing the number of youthful ensembles that had assembled themselves in L.A. over the past decade, he declared that New Music’s time had arrived. And it was happening here–not Brooklyn or San Francisco–in Los Angeles.
At which the unusually large audience applauded with enthusiasm, me included.