Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Empire State of Mind Never Ended

Selections from Kevin Volans' 1st quartet, White Man Sleeps, by ACME

An unexpected, Internet souvenir of NYC: Via Alex Ross, Q2 has a recording of an American Contemporary Music Ensemble set at (Le) Poisson Rouge that Jack and I heard on our New York trip a month ago, with music of John Luther Adams and Kevin Volans.

I most enjoyed the introduction to Volans' string quartets, which have a warm, large-grained minimalist style, reminiscent of Philip Glass' fifth quartet. They came across very well with the instruments amplified, too, especially by giving ACME's quartet players a hearty pizzicato (for example in the first White Man Sleeps movement, embedded above). Adams' murmuring The Farthest Place set the tone of the concert especially well, too. His In a Treeless Place, Only Snow probably would have sounded better unplugged -- in the club, the instrumental layers seemed to pile up on each other rather than blend, though the Q2 recording sounds cleaner -- but it was a really likeable performance overall.

Above, the living-room window view from the New Jersey apartment of Kyle's friends who graciously put us up for the long weekend. This was taken on Monday morning, once the city skyline was visible again through the weather.


Blogger Pete said...

Nice post title!

4/26/2010 10:50 AM  

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