003/Wednesday

Ah, Wednesday—best day of the week, aside from Friday. Once you get over this hump, you’re almost all set!

Last Friday night, I went to the Institute of Contemporary Art (that’d be the ICA) to see in vain, a piece by Georg Freidrich Haas. I didn’t know what to expect, other than some interesting light-work. One thing I love about contemporary music is its power to make you think; it’s a completely different stream of thoughts than a classical-era symphony. The instrumentation was interesting: fairly string heavy, but with the inclusion of an accordion! I’m not sure if Haas intentionally wrote the accordion to be so prominent, but I kept finding myself drawn to that sound. Regardless, the piece was interesting: jarring, provocative, soothing at times…all those juxtapositions that contemporary music can be. The program notes (provided by the performing group, Sound Icon of Boston) emphasizes that this musical experience “…grows and re-circulates and gradually acquires new meaning in which light and dark become like sound and silence.” The use of light was powerful—I almost never actively listen to music in the dark. In doing a further research on Haas, I found an interesting article from Alex Ross (found here: http://www.therestisnoise.com/2010/11/georg-friedrich-haas.html). But I like that he mentions the piece has “extreme demands on players and the audience,” so much so that the audience was forced to sign a waiver so the venue wouldn’t be legally responsible. I guess it was because Haas explicitly asked all the lights in the venue to be dimmed, even the emergency ones; but it almost seem like the venue didn’t want to be responsible for the aftermath of the piece–the thoughts or premonitions one had after leaving the concert. Regardless, all live music is exhilarating and really wakes me up. Sometimes it wakes up my mind, my body, my heart…I always want to hear more!

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