Thanksgiving Is Ruined
June 05, 2007
I love the sound of breaking glass and Eno
Here was the highlight, I thought, for many in attendance during a recent, rather rare live performance of Brian Eno's "Music for Airports" by the Bang on a Can All-Stars:
[the setting = a glass-enclosed atrium with rows of marble steps that served as seats, creating an indoor amphitheater with great acoustics]
from high in the back of the rows of seats
the unmistakable sound
of a glass bottle
with a clink
and the sounds of quick little bounces, of the side of the bottle against polished stone
bouncing sounds that get quicker and littler
then r o l l i n g
then a pause
then a clanggg
as the bottle lands on its side
on the next marble step
then more rolling
longer, slower rolling
then another pause
a louder pause
(if that makes sense)
as the bottle
then hits the last marble step
Mind you, this happened approximately 11 minutes into a very late night performance
or in other words
at 1:36 a.m.
The moment went unremarked by those I've seen who liveblogged (Bruce Hodges, Darcy James Argue) the event.
Though it was certainly noticed by many in the audience, who smiled and turned to look back, probably in appreciation of the almost unsurpassable Cageianism of the interruption.
[update 6/26/07: Harvilla noticed it.]
[My notes here otherwise say:
"part (1/2): Eno's vocal line = cello" and,
[The voyage over the course of several hours, from before and through "Music for Airports," through to the end of Steve Reich's hour-long "Music for 18 Musicians," performed as the sun rose, was sufficient to rewire almost permanently the chemistry and neurology of one's brain.[BTW, for some reflections on the possible musicological connex between Reich's piece and Donna Summer's basically contemporaneous "Love to Love You Baby," go here.]
The above unscheduled sonic interruption was my favorite of this general type since an incident at the opera some years back, up in standing room, at a performance (as I remember it) of La Traviata, right in the middle of the "Annina? --Comandate?" part at the beginning of Act III, which is just about the quietest, tenderest moment of the opera . . .
. . . when someone a few places down the line from me puked.
But that violent spike of irruption was not so much auditory as nasal.
Too much champagne during intermission, I figured.