Daniel Goode

Composer & Performer

Tag: transportation

Bells and Cells in Tully Hall Atrium, February 22nd

February 24, 2011 12:08:47 AM EST

It can’t be the first audience-does-cell phones in a high art chamber music event, but was my first, and it’s got to be one of the best. Nathan Davis, the new percussionist/ composer with ICE, was commissioned to compose for the recently opened atrium on street level at Lincoln Center—a glassy, high-frequency resonant, flashy, bar-friendly entrance to the concert hall. On entering we were each given a a card saying “Please unsilence your phone. When you hear bells, dial the number on the reverse and enter any one of the access codes…” Circulating the space was like being in a forest of chirping industrial insects. It reminded me of those burbling short wave radio sounds that accompanied global communications before the internet and cell phones. With flute, piccolo, clarinet, 12 spatially traveling players of crotales and triangles, the composer above us on a glassed in balcony adding more percussion and a huge gong agung—it was a lovely twenty-five minutes. Cap your ear and you got another, filtered composition. Walking among the speakerphones, I greet a friend, listen to what her cell is broadcasting, drink a coffee…..

Goebbels (H.) Does Gertrude (S.) at the New Tully Hall this Eve

March 19, 2011 1:40:25 AM EDT

Estonian conductor Anu Tali’s platinum ponytail over her musician’s-black uniform beating a metronomic 4/4: was mesmerizing. Heiner G. said in an interview that he knows he’ll always be confused with Joseph G., Hitler’s minister of propaganda. So he’s inoculated himself from this by setting passionate cantorial singing, sampled in his Sampler Suite, from Surrogate Cities. It began with a lighting blast on a male bass drum player smacking the instrument, two handed, with giant switches. It did take the breath away. Was the piece, as a whole, brilliant imagination or crap with brilliant lighting?… He “micromanages” the lighting according to one orchestra member. The whole stage dramatically changes its illumination at apt musical moments. In the Stein piece, it is in the score that the downstage part of the orchestra is all women (dressed in solid colors), who recite on mic and also play the orchestral instruments, while at the back are the men players dressed in black, who never recite. Stein’s World War II text, “Wars I have seen” was Goebbels 2007 hommage to her 1943 observations of everyday life in her adopted France. A friend in the audience, a holocaust survivor, was revolted by Stein’s line that “you could always get butter.” He said butter was unobtainable, and he only tasted peanut butter after the war. He fried it with an egg; called Stein “superficial.” I suggested that maybe in southern France she had a neighbor with a cow. Butter was next door. Spectacular playing by the London Sinfonietta, and a newer ensemble, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. The latter (women) did the Stein aided by the men from the Sinfonietta. Not like American, Canadian, or even most European music said another friend. Orchestra as theater. Not since Fellini’s hilarious, “Orchestra Rehearsal.” But Goebbels is suitably serious, even “Germanic.” And NOT boring. Interesting that both orchestras were 20th Century versions of the 16th-17 century “broken consort.” (Approx. one of each instrument.) The festival of the new hall ends, demonstrates that the social redesign of this high-art temple is successful: the new Tully Hall is fun for mingling, and for listening to music. Some eating and drinking too. Thumbnail review. Spring means music overload.

Roi Reviews: more H. Goebbels

March 19, 2011 10:50:53 PM EDT

3/18/11 Tully performance

Orchestra qua Theater. But why? It is (they’re) the medium, not the message. I have a feeling that he’s spinning his wheels waiting for a suitable text or libretto to come along. His wheels are well oiled. The Surrogate Cities raised that question most. But in the G. Stein, it was so over-the-top all the time. But the Stein is so intentionally flat. A mismatch spiritually. Still, along with cantorial music samples, he is associating himself with Jews, and with lesbians. Well inoculated. I thank him for that.

He doesn’t need more than an acoustically thin “broken consort” (or the Schoenberg kammersymphonie/radio orchestra) sized orchestra because he adds a mesmerizing layer of sampled invariably THICK drone-ish, or rhythmic texture which distances and interprets the chamber orchestra’s sounds. These drones and samples become electronic hooks themselves—that’s possible now, ever since techno, and before that, electronic music and radio. H.G. has beautiful white hair and a large frame dressed in musician’s black. I complimented him on giving new life to the “broken consort” (he even had a theorbo in the mix). At first he looked puzzled, but then got it, and thanked me for coming.

The chamber orchestra is being re-contextualized with lighting and concrete sounds. And you hear right away not to focus on the instrumental orchestration, melody, etc. But what are all the bells and whistles focusing you on? They were beautiful bells and whistles. The new Tully sound system and lighting were spectacular. So resources count. At times I thought of it as an “uptown Richard Foreman.” Instead of a mad cacophony of actual bells and whistles in Foreman, we had smooth, elegant textures of fabulous instrumentalists doing difficult imaginative music. Flashing lights and breathtaking cuts.

Against Clichés about Mahler’s Music

July 2, 2011 4:01:06 PM EDT

Why should we care? Because some of us love the music. Some of us even commit that chauvinist crime of saying: “He’s the greatest Jewish composer” as if there were a contest out there. (He was reviled with anti-semitism in Vienna during his lifetime, especially around his directorship of the Vienna Court Opera). But two of the most progressive conductor’s, Leonard Bernstein and Michael Tilson Thomas (both Jewish), both of whom regarded Mahler as central to their lives, are just full of the usual clichés about him. Oh, like: that those wonderful and suggestive, disintegrating endings to his final works are “about death” or about his death. Well, maybe they are, but HE never said that. The latest slew of these interpretations came in a visually elegant public television program conceived by Tilson Thomas called “Keeping Score.” I won’t list instances here, maybe some other time. Actually the best one-liners came from the first clarinetist, Corey Bell, of the SF Symphony (featured in the film). He spoke about the “skin-of-your-teeth tonalities” in the Scherzo of the 7th Symphony, and of the “corners to hide out in.” Thomas does get off one perceptive analysis: tracing the use of the musical “turn” from Mahler’s first work, “Songs of a Wayfarer” to the final movements of his last two completed works. And the importance of the tone, A, in that early work and then in the climax of the first movement of his 10th Symphony.

A final shot of Thomas at Mahler’s grave in Grinzing, a suburb of Vienna, shows without comment, stones placed in the traditional Jewish manner on top of the Mahler’s gravestone. His remains were not allowed to be buried in the same cemetery as Beethoven and Schubert. “Those who love me will find me” he said. Thumbnail review.

Re: Musicworks Coverage of Philip Glass

May 4, 2012 6:41:29 PM EDT

Good to hear from you, Micheline. We should talk some time about what’s happening in New York. Actually, I’m not sure “what’s happening in NY.” I try, but come up with issues, venues, and generations, and of course, economics just as often as a name or a piece of music I like or don’t like. I’ll never forget hearing Phil Glass’s Music in 12 Parts (one or two of them) in his Bleecker St. loft, with the four loud speakers at the four corners, the listeners in a circle next, and the musicians, mostly, but not all amplified, in the center of that circle. Must have been early 70’s. So, everything’s good about that Phil Glass, and really nothing bad at all. It’s just that the brand, Phil Glass or another brand, is what rules new classical music. I have a problem with this! Because of what that means in practice. And the cover of the Musicworks with that familiar brand, in face form, well: is he going to be like Elliott Carter?—every 5 years (Carter’s about 103) it’s time for another round of THE birthday festival. That jumped out at me while I was writing to the circulation department with which I’ve had some lively correspondence now and then. I decided because of that “threat” (the 5-year festival threat), that I would only celebrate my prime number birthdays. Next one’s 79. This does not a brand make!

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to write.

Regarding Below

Dear Daniel,

I received your e-mail concerning our choice to cover Philip Glass from our Operation and Circulation Manager, Andrea Warren.

As you know, we endeavour to cover Canadian and international artists at various points in the development of their crafts.
Last issue we made the decision to cover Glass in light of the major remounting of Einstein on the Beach—a seminal piece in 20th-century opera.

We regularly cover U.S. and international artists both known and well known between our covers.

Recent profiles include:
Nico Muhly (U.S.)
Clint Conley (U.S.)
STEIM and Michel Waisvisz (The Netherlands)
Tristan Perich (U.S.)
Miquel Azguime and Casa da Musica (Portugal)
Jörg Piringer (Austria)
Nadine Byrne, Mattias Petersson, and Henrik Rylander (Sweden)
Elodie Lauten (U.S.)
Yannis Kyriakides (The Netherlands/Cyprus)
Avatar Orchestra Metaverse (worldwide/internet)

We hope that this puts our recent coverage of Philip Glass in context of what we do.


Micheline Roi
Editor, Musicworks Magazine

Phenomenological Approach to Elliott Carter’s Music

May 11, 2012 12:39:53 PM EDT

Steven Beck performed the complete solo piano music of Carter this May 5th at the New Spectrum Foundation on 23rd Street, NYC. It was about an hour and a half of very technically demanding music which he played with panache and complete conviction. He was a pleasure.

The music was either soft-ish, loud, or very loud. It was either very fast or slow. You could cut a swatch of it at any time from his continuing career (he’s 103) and it would sort of sound the same—similar. (I’ve thought that of Philip Glass, too, on the other end of the spectrum of style). Punkt. Period. That’s all. Nothing more to say. Nada.

Well, there’s a little more: Most of the music makes an auditory impression of cantus fermi. There is a long, accented series of tones, “elaborated on” by very fast sprinkles of notes in between and around. Both layers are non-tonal. It’s amazing how few gestures he uses, but also, how tedious to hear them over and over again.

I am, admittedly, looking through blurry glasses which can only discern general shapes and qualities. I’m not sure I want to focus in.

It’s catty, but fun to say that Carter’s Little [Liver] Pills must work, because the family invention has given their composer-son a century plus of life and creativity. Thumbnail review.