A Good Week

from Saturday, March14th of the year2009.

This last week was a good week “” a very pleasant saturation of activity and eating and drinking and writing. And, it’s the first week after the L-word finished! And I started aggressively Twittering! And I bought a Time Machine and am backing up my computer! And am packing for Niceland and am ordering burritos over the internet.

The most exciting things that occurred: I finished a spate of arrangements for Thomas’s upcoming album, including one track with seven layers of piccolo, flute, and alto flute playing these outrageous scales over a very, very slow drone. It’s like Daphnis meets Terry Riley. Thomas paid me with a meal at Masa, which was transcendent and surprising. I think it’s pornographic to go into much detail here, but basically, the food hit the bottom and worked the middle.

Last week, I saw Meredith Monk perform Ascension Variations at the Guggenheim. I just love her. It’s music that works much much better live than recorded, but isn’t done live nearly enough. So, if you hear that she is doing something near you, run don’t walk. Here is one of her most successful recordings, Memory Song from Do You Be:

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And here is what it looked like:

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Last night, Jessica Rivera premiered a new song cycle I wrote for her at Carnegie Hall. This is her warming upp:

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This is the first concert I’ve had in a good while where I haven’t had to do anything at all ““ usually in New York I find myself sort of “in charge” of the evening ““ either playing, conducting, or being traffic cop. In the more traditional model (where the composer just sits on her ass in the audience), I can’t tell if I feel more or less engaged, more or less stressed out. Watching Jessica sing last night, I realized not only that I was out of control of the situation but that she was singing as if I were dead: she had claimed the music for her own. This is a beautifully estranging and disembodied moment, like watching one’s own funeral.

I’m organizing my bag for Iceland right now; I have learned to make space for all the gifts Ices here want to send to their Ices there!

4 Comments

  • a meal at Masa! Mmmmmmm…..

  • Thomas has a new album coming out soon? Thomas, as in Doveman Thomas???? Where do I line up to buy it? Can’t wait! Really looking forward to it…

  • I have been becoming more and more deeply infatuated with your music the last few weeks. It started with “Who Was She?” from The Reader score, then progressed to “Quiet Music” and “A Hudson Cycle.” This morning I purchased “Mothertongue.” I decided to find your website, and I was elated to find your blog. I am amazed to find so many touchstones from my well of inspirations woven together here (well, that was one big mixed metaphor . . . sorry). Pärt. Meredith Monk (who is possibly the most important music of my life; I envy you for witnessing “ascension variations” at the Guggenheim). Stephen Petronio’s company (I am a choreographer/dance scholar). Even a passing reference to the L Word (which I loved and will miss). I suppose what I’m trying to say is thanks for writing and exciting me with all of these intersecting inspirations, yourself included.

    I completely relate to the disembodied sensation of one’s work being performed seemingly completely removed from oneself. As I have moved further away from performing my own choreography and instead entrusting it entirely to the bodies of others, this experience has become even more familiar. There is that moment of realization that in the moment of performance, I as the artist am not very distinct from any other audience member around me. The difference is the months of rehearsals, the inextricable intimacy with the work, a feeling further than disembodiment and more like re-embodiment. I sit and watch as movement that originated in my own body is translated into the bodies of others. It is both liberating and heart-breaking concurrently.

    Thanks for sharing that experience and sparking these reflections.

    -M

  • Felt the need to share how hard I laughed when I read this in your blog.. “Thomas paid me with a meal at Masa, which was transcendent and surprising. I think it’s pornographic to go into much detail here, but basically, the food hit the bottom and worked the middle.”

    Any chance this way of describing your experience was inspired by YouTube sensation Alexyss K Tylor? It seems nearly impossible to me that two people could independly come up with a phrase such as that.

    Anywho, stumbled across your music on Pandora this afternoon and have been enjoying both it and your blog.

    Tickled,
    J