"We are experiencing an intimate, self-reflexive and interpersonal touch: beneath your and my hardened forms of self-representation in public situations we experience our obsessions and internal contradictions as being touched, understood and identified; and only in this process do we experience being in transformation. We thus come close to each other through understanding the same deep-seated inhibitions or forms of desire. An access to one another is revealed,a possibility for change, a convergence. As possibility. Intimate utopia, folie à deux. You and I." - Helger Schulze, (translated by Laura Schleussner), Berührung (Touched by Sound) - The Open Space Magazine issue 8/9 Fall 2006, Spring 2007
June 18, 2016
The Spectrum Dance Theater
Cornish Playhouse - Seattle
The Minstrel Show Revisited - Donald Byrd
DB and company are not shy to reveal what we successfully forget. Black face in your face. Let's share racist jokes. The permeable skins between the bodily languages of clowning subservience, and the bodily languages of self- and other- identification, and the bodily languages of desperate aggression are co-opted to grind our faces into the shards and sparks of our minstrel show past still present among us, barely transmuted: jazz hands, MJ's single white glove (a coded reminder?), white liberal church choirs trying to sing gospel told "to be more black", hip hop's posturing choreography and on and on ad nauseam and beyond. Intentions were and are well and ill on and from all angles, but clearly, the code of silence has failed.
On a more strictly aesthetic note, the inter-disciplinary play among dance, song, spoken word, direct address, audience participation, and reportage (not a complete list), was seamless where it needed to be and abrasive where it needed to be. SDT is a dance theater, but one that takes the theater part seriously. Dance theater for thinking people.
June 15, 2016
Keyboard Sonata in E minor Wq. 65/30 - C.P.E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi
Each note's decay envelope is so steep (we are hearing a clavichord) that their inter-relative weights, both their dynamics and their agogics, is packed with at- and in-tentions. Climbing a cliff on the merest of holds.
Keyboard Sonata in B minor Hob. XVI:32 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim
And now we are orchestral.
June 16, 2016
Le Nozze di Figaro Act II - Mozart - New Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer
It opens with a drop-dead killer song then dissolves into recitative - first among the female voices and gradually adding (through Cherubino pants role mediation) male voices, during which Mozart constructs an elaborately elaborating ensemble. It is no surprise that the recitative, the ensemble, and everything in between is awesome in the extreme (listen to that recitative again, dig that crazy rhythm!) But we the audience also undergo a shift in perspective, from fly-on-the-wall clinical observer to fully immersed (or enmeshed) co-operative - or more perhaps: over the course of the act the action has moved from out there on the stage to entirely within each of us, overwriting what is us with what is it. A brilliant insurgency.
In Session at the Tintinabulary
June 13, 2016
Gradus 291 - Neal Kosály-Meyer
Every couple of weeks Neal comes over and improvises two 20 minute rungs on a new combination of piano keys. This session ended with a rung made of all the A naturals, all the E naturals, all the C sharps, and the highest G natural. I am allowed 40 minutes to consider how music is put together, or to think critically about how I habitually regard music as being put together.
What signals 'start over': repetition as return || end of long duration || novelty
What signals 'moving on': increment || transformation
(double whammy 'start over and move on': non sequitur)
What signals 'working on it': parametric invariance || not starting over, not moving on
Pointillism: each moment starts over, each moment of each moment starts over. updown backforth allthesame.