Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Seattle Symphony’s “Untitled: 1962” – How the future used to sound
That said, there was nothing boring or mundane in the performance. The concert was presented informally in the grand lobby of Benaroya Hall, with introductions by Ludovic Morlot (conductor), some videos, and room for the audience to walk around during the performance. Each piece was presented in its own space, so to speak – both physically (there was more than one stage set up for performance) and aurally, with a spoken introduction about the procedure used to compose and/or perform it. Those “procedures”, however, were usually not audible in the music. Without the visual cues (offered by the videos) and introductions, a listener wouldn’t know that the Xenakis piece was based on geometrical shapes and architecture, that each player followed his/her own tempo in the Feldman piece, or that the Cage and Brown pieces were based on the conductor choosing ensembles or sections of the score during the performance. This lack of “obviousness” led to the aforementioned homogeneity.