[Dixielandjazz] Playing above the din - Part 2

Stephen G Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 20 07:18:28 PDT 2009

It seems as if the Classical music groups also have some fun with  
noisy audiences. Below article excerpted from a NY Times article.
Then again, I just talked with a trad jazz enthusiast who is trying to  
bring swing dancers to his local jazz society concerts. He laments  
that at least one board member threatened to quit if those "noisy"  
dancers are encouraged to attend.
Oh my, how we old farts still try and KILL this music, all in the name  
of "Art". Who the hell are we kidding?
Steve Barbone

March 20, 2009 - NY TIMES - by Steve Smith

For That Prokofiev-Loving, Beer-Swilling Crowd

When the members of the Elysian Quartet took the stage at Le Poisson  
Rouge on Wednesday night, Laura Moody, the cellist, made an unusual  
request. The group was appearing under the banner of Nonclassical, the  
name for both an English record label and a groundbreaking concert  
series presented in a London pub. “If you could spill some beer and  
get rowdy, we’d feel more comfortable,” Ms. Moody said.

“Start the damn show,” an audience member cheerfully obliged.

Thus welcomed, the ensemble played the String Quartet No. 2 by Gabriel  
Prokofiev, a composer, producer, Nonclassical founder and,  
incidentally, the grandson of Sergei Prokofiev. The piece had a  
likably propulsive buzz, heartily amplified; the first movement  
sounded like Bernard Herrmann’s “Psycho” shrieks made to jitter and  
surge à la John Adams’s “Shaker Loops.”

Mr. Prokofiev, 34, started Nonclassical in 2003 to “bring contemporary  
classical music into the real world,” he had explained earlier from a  
sound booth behind the audience. Before and between the performances,  
he remixed Nonclassical recordings. (Passages from his grandfather’s  
works turned up in the mix too.)

“Clap when you like, talk when you like, go to the bar when you’re  
bored with the music,” Mr. Prokofiev said. That seemed unlikely since  
this particular Nonclassical event was being presented in tandem with  
New Amsterdam, a hip New York record label that has cultivated a loyal  
following through showcases in nightclubs and other offbeat spaces.

Despite Mr. Prokofiev’s encouragement, a sizable, chatty audience fell  
silent as Samuel Z. Solomon, an adroit percussionist, played Marcos  
Balter’s frenetic “Descarga” and Michael Early’s evocative  
“raingutter.” In Judd Greenstein’s “We Shall Be Turned,” played later,  
Mr. Solomon made the considerable challenge of sustaining smooth  
legato lines across disparate instruments seem effortless. . . .

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