It also forced you to sit side by side with interesting strangers. I met a couple very interesting gentlemen in particular. One being Chris McGovern, author of the blog The Glass, which does great reviews of some of the interesting things going on in the city. I recommend giving it a look if you're like me and still trying to sort through the mass of amazing music going on there.
Second, I met an Australian vocalist who is also managing director of a choir that seems to be doing some pretty interesting things in commissioning new choral works. They are The Australian voices, follow the link to listen.
Alright, enough shout outs for my new friends, but seriously, check them out. Where to start with the rest of it? I can't talk about everything or I will ramble for about 50+inches of screen space. I definitely enjoyed everything immensely. I think I'll just say the things that stuck out to me the most, and attempt to limit it.
A composer who should be checked out, Kendall Williams, I can't seem to find a website for him so instead I'll include a youtube link to one of his works, Misconception, what we heard yesterday was the premiere of Conception, which included an old friend from Hartt, Brandon Nestor! The work was great, hopefully someone will put it up on youtube soon?
This was my first encounter with Talk Normal and I've been listening to them all morning. It's amazing how much sound 2 people can produce. That is an incredibly simple observation of what they do but it was powerful and inspirational.
Of course, Julia Wolfe's US premiere of With a Blue Dress on played by Monica Germino was phenomenal. After seeing it live I think I would only want to see it that way, I'm sure it records well enough but you would miss some of the amazing stage presence of Ms. Germino.
I have been in love with Michael Gordon's Yo Shakespeare for a long time now and it was great to finally hear it live. I also love that he has now created a smaller and more manageable ensemble version, for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, but it should make it easier for the rest of us to play it now, if they share it. Although there is something very powerful about the large group that I would still like to be part of someday.
Shara Worden. She gets her own category due to the variety of talents she shared yesterday. From her composition Before the Words to her moving and powerful performance with the Bang on a Can All-Stars of David Lang's work (and also newly released album) death speaks. Her voice is haunting and exquisite.
OK, I know I've rambled on enough already but the last group I have to talk about is the Asphalt Orchestra. So. much. fun! It had an odd sense of familiarity like reclaiming marching band and making it amazing and more fun. I can't imagine hearing/seeing them perform and not having one of the best times of your life. With all the crazy moves they were doing I was always so scared there would be a collision, especially with 2 trombone slides dancing around everywhere. But no, total pros, but remembering to have a ton of fun. I look forward to being surprised by them again someday.