The Callithumpian Blog

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Praise for Left Coast!

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Callithumpian Consort performs Left Coast at the Gardner

Cold and rainy weather did not dampen the spirits of our audience last Thursday at the Gardner Museum!  In short, our 9/16 Left Coast concert was an American landscape panning from Songbirdsongs (John Luther Adams) and the Suite for Cello and Harp (Lou Harrison), smearing into James Tenney’s Swell Piece and ending with In C by Terry Riley.

From the Boston Globe: “…How else to describe the serene, seamless flow of four works by Californian and Alaskan composers that made up the Callithumpian Consort’s program titled “Left Coast’’? Of course, there is no single unifying Pacific aesthetic, but it was impossible to miss the tactile richness and mellow colorings that ran through very distinct works by John Luther Adams, Lou Harrison, James Tenney, and Terry Riley. They were played here as one extended offering, without breaks for applause, a kind of four-movement West Coast Symphony…” (Jeremy Eichler).  Read the rest of the review here.

And from the Boston Musical Intelligencer: “…Closing with the longest performance of the evening (though not nearly as long as many renditions) was the most compelling performance of Terry Riley’s In C I have yet to hear (including some widely circulated recordings by Bang on a Can and a number of other performances I’ve played in myself).  The pacing of In C is the key, and it is what differentiates true, convincing performances from underwhelming, indiscriminate ‘jam sessions’ on the piece.  Subtleties –such as how Philipp Stäudlin emerged and submerged the bright tone of the soprano sax into the texture, and how violinist Ethan Wood chose the absolute perfect time to highlight the harmonic motion of the piece (yes, there is indeed harmonic motion in In C) with an appropriate change from viola to mandolin–are what made this performance shine.”  Read more of this review here.

Congratulations to all!  Coming up next: Robert Ashley/Alvin Lucier/Christian Wolff on Tuesday, Sept. 28th at 8pm in Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory (Boston). We’ll be playing Ashley‘s in memoriam…Esteban Gomez, Lucier‘s Crossings, and Wolff‘s Rhapsody.  Admission is free, but come early to snag your seat!

–more soon, from your friendly


Titanic Reviews + Left Coast/Avant Gardner

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2010 at 11:11 am

Callithumpian Consort performs Gavin Bryar's "Sinking of the Titanic" at ICA

For those of you who missed out on a phenomenal rendition of Gavin Bryars‘s “Sinking of the Titanic”, check out the Flickr set (more pictures coming soon)!

The 8/20 performance – at Boston’s wonderful Institute of Contemporary Art, right on the water – involved surround-sound acousmatic sound, bespoke lighting in blue and sunset hues, both indoor and outdoor choreography, and our own Benjamin Schwartz playing a wirelessly mic’d cello in a small boat at the close of the day.  The weather couldn’t have been better.

Boston Globe correspondent David Weininger writes, “…The performance — spearheaded by the Callithumpian’s intrepid director, Stephen Drury, and expertly guided by sound engineer John Mallia — made shrewd use of its surroundings. But “The Sinking of the Titanic’’ suggests just enough to force you to reimagine the disaster itself, which is why this performance was one not just of postmodern wit but of poignant, even wrenching emotion as well…”  Read the rest of the review here.

Keith Powers, of the Boston Herald, in his review: “…Under director Stephen Drury, Callithumpian has long experimented at the edges of the contemporary repertory with commitment and intuition. This version of the ensemble – Benjamin Schwartz (cello), Jessi Rosinski (flutes), Rane Moore (bass clarinet), Gabriela Diaz (violin, viola) and John Mallia (electronics) – brought this challenging and fascinating piece to life, almost, one could say, up from the ocean floor.”  Read more here.

Classical Voice‘s Phyllis Nordstrom: “…Yet the water was not what made this the perfect venue; this was a museum exhibit – an installation piece. This was so much more than music performed from a boat…”  Click here for the complete review.

Congrats to all!  A special thanks goes out to John Andress for his assistance in putting this together.

Coming up next!  Callithumpian Consort performs on September 16th, 2010 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in a concert aptly titled, Left Coast (as part of the Avant Gardner series).  Program starts at 7:00 p.m. and includes music by Terry Riley, James Tenney, Lou Harrison, and John Luther Adams.  For more performance details/ticketing information, here’s the listing on the Gardner website.

more soon, from your friendly