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  1. My take on the BOAC concert:

    “Reeling” felt too obvious for me. Instead of engaging in a dialogue with the recording, the musicians just recycled it.

    “An Open Cage” was quite enjoyable, but I think that in 2012 there's an uncomfortably thin line between it and something like the Double Rainbow Song.

    I really liked “meeting you seemed so easy”, although it was on the other side of the spectrum from “Reeling”; two sound sources overlaid on top of each other instead of interacting.

    “unused swan” might have been okay if the chain hadn't been mixed so loud. There was nice stuff going on in the rest of the ensemble but it was hard to pay attention to it.

    “Wargasari” totally hit that sweet spot of neither ignoring the recorded background nor slavishly following it. A real dialogue, the most successful piece so far.

    “gene takes a drink” was perfectly amiable but it went in one ear and out the other.

    “Fade to Slide” had a brilliant video, and in fact would have been much better without any accompanying music.

    “Casino Trem” was my favorite piece of the group. Again, there was a real dialogue with the source material, and it kept going just past the point that my brain could keep track of it all.

    “Real Beauty Turns” was a Books song: cute, funny, well-crafted, and I don't need to see/hear it again.

    I did like 2×5 a lot. Reich is kind of the wrong place to look for harmonic progressions (when he does land on one, like at the end of Electric Counterpoint, he tends to worry it to death instead of letting it actually progress), and I say that as someone who tends to come to music from a harmony-first standpoint. I was pretty successfully able to put my predilections aside and just enjoy the moment-to-moment textures. I do agree that the ending section was the most successful. I disagree with Reich's program note when he claims that the piece is “clearly not rock and roll.” Just look at how the guitarists were moving!

    Thanks for all the links to music exploring the serial/popular dialogue. I'm exploring them now.

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