Asami Tamura at Cafe Orwell; Dither at Bang on a Can marathon

Originally posted on May 29, 2009

Playing a grand piano-shaped toy piano, Asami Tamura opened her concert Friday night with an impassioned and raucous performance of Invention No. 1 by J.S. Bach.  Intriguing about the performance was the disconnect between the extremely precise nature of the piece and the equally imprecise nature of the instrument, inside which the hammers (controlled by the keys) often and easily strike more than one metal bar by accident.
There followed a Suite for Toy Piano by John Cage—“I think you will find them similar” Tamura said of the Cage and Bach pieces—Kreisler’s gloomy  Liebesleid (“Feel melancholy about it!”), and a work by Yoshinao Nakata, also on a sad theme, “The Departing Spring.”
After a blazing performance of Mozart’s athletic “Rondo all turca,” the latter half of which was played from memory when a gust of wind blew down Tamura’s music, the audience was asked to leave the Cafe due to a small fire in the basement of the building.  Tamura reportedly finished out her concert later that night after a team of firemen deemed the Cafe safe.

Originally posted on May 31, 2009

Eric km Clark‘s exPAT: Deprivation Music No. 4, performed by electric guitar quartet Dither and 8 other electric guitarists, filled the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden with a sound like a pipe organ being played at full volume.  The guitarists were each wearing headphones piping out white noise (hence the “deprivation”), such that no player could hear the other.  The result was an impressive, undulating wash of patterns, and the children present at the marathon either danced excitedly, or plugged up their ears as they were rushed from the audience.

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