February 28, 1996 |
Normally, the L.A. Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series operates with no stronger thematic imperative than its new music focus. Monday night at the Japan America Theatre, however, the CalArts New Century Players' boldly performed program revealed something of a connective thread for the series.
June 16, 2003 |
Many people may not comprehend the sound of one hand clapping, but 184 privileged persons were witness to a 45-minute mind-boggling performance by butoh master Oguri at Japan America Theater's George J. Doizaki Gallery on Saturday night. His collaborators? Wadada Leo Smith, blowing the baddest trumpet and fluegelhorn this side of Miles Davis; Zen archer-artist Hirokazu Kosaka; and three tons of wet clay that not only functioned as a stage but served as a paradisiacal tableau.
June 7, 2004 |
Stark white walls and floor with a square black platform in the center transformed the George J. Doizaki Gallery at the Japan America Theatre plaza Friday into an abstraction of apocalypse for the intense improvisational duet "Earthbeat '04: Lightning." Designer Hirokazu Kosaka topped the knee-high platform with broken bits of charcoal, evoking a desolate, burnt-out landscape.
December 9, 1997 |
Music in art-designated spaces can either suffer or benefit from the surroundings. The latter was, fortunately, the case when guitarist Stuart Fox and flutist Dorothy Stone gave a recital in the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena Sunday evening, part of the Southwest Chamber Music's Soliloquy Recital series.
March 22, 1999 |
A certified member of the jazz avant-garde since the early days of the Assn. for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and the Revolutionary Ensemble in the '60s and '70s, violinist Leroy Jenkins is also a composer with an expansive musical palette.
March 19, 1997 |
Leave it to a CalArts contingent to shore up new ideas and rattle complacency, as it did Monday at the Japan America Theatre. In its annual visit downtown, as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series, the CalArts New Century Players, in varying ensembles, reminded us of the vitality bubbling up in Valencia. If there was a general connecting theme to the works, it had to do with blending styles and reworking "isms" into new forms and textures.
December 7, 1998 |
Lively programming has long been one of the stocks-in-trade of Southwest Chamber Music, which continued its 12th season Saturday night at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena with an engrossing agenda of music by Milhaud, Wadada Leo Smith and Beethoven, splendidly played. The focus of interest was the world premiere performance of Smith's String Quartet No. 3, subtitled "Black Church: A First World Gathering of the Spirit." The work is dense, tense, often grim, atonal to a fault.
April 14, 2001 |
Baritone Thomas Buckner and pianist Joseph Kubera--in league with two flanking loudspeakers, mixing boards, a laptop computer and other components at CalArts' Roy O. Disney Music Hall Thursday night--seemed determined to show that the art song genre is more wildly unpredictable than the term implies.
April 15, 2013 |
Composer Caroline Shaw has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for music for her a cappella composition "Partita for 8 Voices. " The two finalists in the category this year were Aaron Jay Kernis for "Pieces of Winter Sky" and Wadada Leo Smith for "Ten Freedom Summers. " "Partita for 8 Voices" was released in October by New Amsterdam Records, featuring the vocal group Roomful of Teeth. On her website, Shaw states that the 26-minute piece was inspired by Sol LeWitt's "Wall Drawing 305" and that it was written for Roomful of Teeth.
June 27, 2013 |
The National Endowment for the Arts has named its 2014 Jazz Masters, and as usual its picks happily include artists whose mastery was never in question. Pianist Keith Jarrett leads the organization's field of honorees, and the recognition comes during a year that's also seen the release of the live recording "Somewhere," which is another bewitching collection from his "Standards" trio of bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The trio comes to UCLA's Royce Hall this September to celebrate its 30th anniversary.