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Trance Talking

Michael Gordon‘s huge and hugely wonderful, 50+ minute riff- and throb-fest Trance, composed in 1995, is being dusted off for what promises to be a memorable performance by the ensemble Signal, 7:30pm April 22nd at Le Poisson Rouge.

The fun and games begin at 6:30 pre-concert in the bar, however; Gordon himself, along with Ronen Givony (from Wordless Music and Le Poisson), Signal director Brad Lubman, bandmate/composer Ken Thomson (who also does duty in Gutbucket) and others, will talk about producing and performing new works with emphasis on the whys and whats of a piece after their first presentation. Trance was premiered at Bang on a Can in 1997, and hasn’t been played in New York since. Who owns the problem of presenting new works after their premiere?

Not only that, but S21’s own fearless leader Jerry Bowles will be moderating, and the whole roundtable will be videotaped and YouTubed shortly after for your viewing pleasure. Space in the bar isn’t huge, so come early to catch the conversation or join in.

Last but not least, we’re actively soliciting questions and comments for the panel from you, our loyal readers. Something you want to know or share about the perils of performance, premieres, getting that work into a second or third production… Just pass them along to, and we’ll try and add you to the dialogue.


Comment from Richard Mitnick
Time: April 15, 2009, 5:30 pm

I bought “Trance” first because I liked Decasia, which I heard on wnyc2 and just had to have.

And, second, because when I bought Decasia at Bang On a Can’s web site in mp3, the downloader was way much of a mess. There was a lot of email back and forth before we got it to work. I wanted to see how things are now.

I write my own weblog now, on serious music and Public Radio. So, I need to know whether to tell people to come and get a terrific piece of music or stay away from a dreadful web site.

Things are much better. It is still clunky to have to wait for an email after paying, and each track is a separate download, 12 clicks instead of two clicks. But it works first crack.

I went to see what this album would cost in mp3 at Amazon: zero, it’s not there in mp3. Honorable, to be sure, but not smart, on either part.

I know Marvin reads this weblog, I hope to hear “Trance” on Classical Discoveries Goes Avangarde.

I am listening now and very delighted with the purchase.

Comment from Jerry Bowles
Time: April 16, 2009, 10:16 am

To be a little more specific, the topic is presenting “new works” after their premieres; who is responsible for re-presenting works, the publisher, artists for whom a piece was written, the composer, or a city’s venues? Snark away.