Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Steve Reich at Carnegie Hall

On Saturday evening, the filmmaker and I ventured into the city for a Steve Reich concert at Carnegie Hall; his aunt had been kind and generous enough to purchase tickets for us all a few months back, and I have been anxiously awaiting the event ever since. Carnegie Hall alone is a beautiful sight to behold; a traditional architectural design, the ceilings are high, the palette white white subtle gold detailing, and the seats a rich red velvet. We sat in the steep balcony area, which afforded eagle views of the large stage beneath and the musicians gracing it, and a perfect view of their movements as they played their instruments. This view proved particularly valuable during the opening concert piece, a mallet-based composition with four percussionists on xylophones, each holding four mallets, each striking in perfect synchrony, as though marionettes controlled up above by a single hand.

Although I enjoyed each piece immensely, the harrowing highlight of the performance was definitely the world premiere of WTC 9/11, a piece commemorating the ten-year anniversary of that fateful day and the lives of the men, women, and children that were cruelly extinguished. Spanning across four distinct movements, a string quartet played, both solemnly and frenetically, overlaid with recordings from the survivors, both from the midst of the day's tragedies and later reflections on the spiritual and social implications. In short, my words cannot and will never do this piece, or this experience, justice; as the musicians drew their bows across the concluding notes, I could not speak, move, or breathe, did not want to speak, move, or breathe. Life, as always, propels forward; after a moment of silence, of solace, of somber remembrance and reverence, the audience applauded thunderously, continued chatter and took their intermission, the musicians left the stage.

For weeks prior to September 11, 2001, when I was just embarking on my high school and adolescent journey, I had vague yet notable violent dreams, and frequently awoke from slumber agitated and afraid. That morning, after again a tumultuous and upsetting dream, my stomach was heavy and I was nervous for the start of the day, some irrational feeling of danger encroaching my world. Following this performance, all forms of popular media exploding, the world discovered a certain integral terrorist leader had been killed in action during a meticulously orchestrated raid by United States Marines. Coincidences can be funny.

I highly recommend, if you have the opportunity, seeing this performance live; if minimalist contemporary classical does not interest, the passionate cries of human turmoil and struggle, and human love, inherent to the human condition, will surely touch your heart and mind, course through the body's blood and neuronal channels.

With tickets for such an exciting event purchased so far in advance, I had ample time to plan an outfit; alas, the weather did not cooperate perfectly, and my original dress seemed too summertime. A tiger patterned Diane von Furstenberg dress, which, despite its short sleeves, strikes me as a winter appropriate piece due to the neutral tones; as such, it is a great transition dress for those evenings when the sun is out and sets, but the wind grows chill, and tights are still a necessity.

Vintage Ferragamo black satin shoes, with gold and bow detailing, as well as a precious kitten heel.

To complete the look, some vintage gold earrings with two spheres, small and large, and some warm earth toned eyeshadow.

No comments:

Post a Comment