Wednesday, January 20, 2010

under the radar

Some one in brooklyn told us that there's no reason to leave New York because eventually, everything ends up (t)here.

After the last 4 days in that city, I can completely understand what they mean. We have been through so many parallel universes, let alone the different people and their different walks in life; the diversity between Harlem and Brooklyn is incomprehensible. Even between Green point and Bushwick, you're spit out of the metro into a reality which only shares a common skyline with the one before.

One of the the realities we were recently plunged into was a club full of dark red satin, red fish in crooked aquariums hanging on chains, and the best sound system Controllar has seen to date. Le Poisson Rouge, happens to be (as their menu so clearly states) a mecca for eclectic and multimedia/crossplatform nonsense. Once you buzz word the menu like that, one must expect something exceptionally extraordinary to live up to the tall order of everything which is new, relevant and groundbreaking in the world of music. Why controllar was playing there is still a bit of a mystery, but we like that... mystery.

On this special Martin Luther King Weekend, Inon Barnatan invited Controllar to create an eclectic program consisting of the musical treatement of song as poem and poem as song. Mendelssohn, Ravel, and Thomas Adès rewriting Dowland "In Darkness Let Me Dwell" complete with a stunning performance of the original by a counter-tenor and guitarist. Anat also performed a special piece in this first half written by a composer in New York named Gregory Spears.

To follow such a program is something which Controllar never had the pleasure of doing. In all honesty, it was very daunting, and we were nervous of the reception (or lack thereof) which might accompany it. And I can assure you, the first notes of "You do it all the time" were explosive. Not because they're particularly explosive, but simply because of the element of surprise which they contained in this context. By the time PH came on the menu, we felt a genuine pleasure from our audience, and no one regretted the second helping of "eliot" for dessert.

Before we realized it had begun- it was over. This is every concert, every drive, every day. Now we're in Pittsburgh, enjoying the magnificent weather, and the wonderful speed of life which this "American Tour" entails.


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