Tuesday February 27, 2007

Subtropics: Graphic Music

Subtropics: Graphic Music

Last night, a group performance by some of the biggest names in contemporary avant-garde music, in town for Subtropics. From left: Christian Wolff behind the upright piano, Joan LaBarbara on the microphone, Helena Bugallo and Amy Williams on the grand piano, Gustavo Matamoros on saw, Jan Williams on percussion and Robert Black on bass.

They performed two stunning pieces as a group which were synchronized to preset points by the powerbook in the foreground, as well as a few pieces in smaller groups and solo. LaBarbara was fantastic. Black did a great little silent pantomime performance on the bass. But probably the best moment was a Wolff composition, performed with Black and Williams, a long weaving melody traded between the instruments, each note played by a different player at a different articulation. After the show I bumped to Wolff waiting for the bus (me, not him), so at least I got a chance to thank him for coming to Miami, ‘cause the attendance was not in line with the excellence of the performance (then again, 2 to 3 concerts a day for 9 days in a row is tough for anyone).

Tonight: Solo performances by Joan LaBarbara at 7 pm and Helena Bugallo and Amy Williams (performing the player piano pieces of Conlon Nancarrow) at 9:30 pm.

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