Weekend Destination: Laurie Anderson’s Boat

Boat (2012). Oil on Canvas

So many wonderful music events are going on this Spring into early Summer.

Next week is no exception, with the New York Philharmonic presenting an all Dutilleux concert (featuring Yo-Yo Ma) and Philharmonic 360.

Artist's rendering of Philharmonic 360

However, sometimes even the most ardent of music lovers need to feed their souls with arts from other disciplines.

I can’t think of anyone with more fertile cross-disciplinary pursuits than Laurie Anderson.

Presented by Vito Schnabel (details below), Anderson’s Boat is the first exhibition of her paintings in New York.

Anderson is no dilettante in the visual arts: her academic background includes teaching art history.

She’s spent at least as much time exploring the visual world via fine arts works and video/film as she has spent in sound and performance arts.

The exhibit is only open through Saturday (tomorrow), but  is free and open to the public.

Why not take a break from musicking and enjoy some paintings?

Lolabelle in the Bardo (2011). Charcoal on paper.

MAY 12 – JUNE 23, 2012
126 Leroy St New York, NY 10014
Tuesday – Saturday 12-6pm
free to the public

Pink Painting (2012) Oil on canvas

Thursday: Pictures 2012 Concert at Montclair Art Museum

New Jersey Arts Collective is presenting their annual Pictures concert at the Montclair Art Museum on Thursday, May 24 (pre-concert talk at 6:45; show starts at 7:30). In response to a competition held earlier this Spring, high school and college age students submitted compositions for solo piano somehow inspired by the Philip Guston painting Untitled 142 (1979), which is part of MAM’s collection. The winning entries, as well as several “micro-commissions” of short works from area composers, will be performed on the concert by pianist Carl Patrick Bolleia. (Purchase tickets here).

NJAC was kind enough to program two new piano pieces by yours truly: the program notes are below.

Gloss on Guston is a brief piece for solo piano. After hearing a playthrough of the work, a colleague recently quipped, “You’ve fit all the notes of Feldman’s For Philip Guston into one minute!” Indeed, there are many more notes per bar in this piece than in Feldman’s lengthy meditation of contemplative pointillism on Guston’s artworks: with good reason. Feldman’s music regards earlier pieces by Guston – his program note indicates paintings from 1949 and 1950 were the impetus for his reliquary to his abstract expressionist painter friend. My work is a response to a late painting by Guston – Untitled #142 (1979) – which resides in the Montclair Art Museum’s collection. Its vivid colors and angular shapes suggest to me busy athleticism and even, at times, motoric gestures, as well as a taut formal design. It was composed in 2012 in response to a commission from New Jersey Arts Collective and receives its world premiere today.

Fiery Sunset is a coda to my previous commission from New Jersey Arts Collective and the Montclair Art Museum: Innesscapes, a piece composed in 2008 that responds to the museum’s extraordinary collection of pieces by New Jersey landscape painter George Inness. It is scored for clarinet, viola, and piano. The first two instruments play the piece’s first movement, while all three instruments participate in movements two and three. After hearing the premiere, in order to balance the work I wanted to add a movement, one in which the piano gets a solo turn.

Fiery Sunset may be played by itself or as part of Innesscapes as a whole. It responds to Inness’s painting Sunset and is dedicated to local composer George Walker as a small gift acknowledging his ninetieth birthday on June 27, 2012. It also receives its world premiere today.