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Doomed Singularity: San Diego Symphony (1 of 2)

I can’ remember the last time I attended a concert where I got chills, teary eyed, and had thoughts of erectile dysfunction. Taking that into consideration, Saturday night was a singularity experience. Ok, perhaps it wasn’t “a hypothetical region in space in which gravitational forces cause matter to be infinitely compressed and space and time to become infinitely distorted” but it was close.

The “Doomed Romance” concert by the San Diego Symphony was fated to be a success. The people putting the programs together over there deserve a raise.

The concert started with Bernstein’s suite of Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. It is tempting to be dismissive of this music. For example, when the music was over I heard the man behind me say, “That’s great music for young people”.

I almost heard myself say, “That’s great music for any people” but I held my tongue. Great music for young people? Maybe 50 years ago.

Following West Side Story was Tan Dun’s The Love. Tan Dun is a Chinese composer best known for his motion picture scores for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and Hero. I’m not familiar with Dun’s musical grammar and found the piece a little challenging to listen to. I found my mind wandering.

Dun used some massive, descending glissandi in the brass and strings. I was trying to think what they had to do with love. To me, they sounded like a musical interpretation of erectile dysfunction. I looked around at the audience members and tried to guess which of the men were afflicted.

In considering the inevitable decline of the body I was brought back to listening to the music and the concept I shared in an earlier post about the eternal aspects of tone. Every musical pitch is eternal and always present waiting for a rhythm to shape it.

I started listening to the rhythms in Dun’s music and observed how each pitch was born, lived and died within the rhythm—allowing the next pitch to manifest itself.

The violin solo in The Love was played by Cho-Liang Lin. Mr. Lin is an international violin master and also directs the La Jolla Chamber Music Society’s SummerFest. He played with conviction and authority in The Love.

Intermission.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_NelA3ZW4g

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I can’ remember the last time I attended a concert where I got chills, teary eyed, and had thoughts of erectile dysfunction. Taking that into consideration, Saturday night was a singularity experience. Ok, perhaps it wasn’t “a hypothetical region in space in which gravitational forces cause matter to be infinitely compressed and space and time to become infinitely distorted” but it was close.

The “Doomed Romance” concert by the San Diego Symphony was fated to be a success. The people putting the programs together over there deserve a raise.

The concert started with Bernstein’s suite of Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. It is tempting to be dismissive of this music. For example, when the music was over I heard the man behind me say, “That’s great music for young people”.

I almost heard myself say, “That’s great music for any people” but I held my tongue. Great music for young people? Maybe 50 years ago.

Following West Side Story was Tan Dun’s The Love. Tan Dun is a Chinese composer best known for his motion picture scores for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and Hero. I’m not familiar with Dun’s musical grammar and found the piece a little challenging to listen to. I found my mind wandering.

Dun used some massive, descending glissandi in the brass and strings. I was trying to think what they had to do with love. To me, they sounded like a musical interpretation of erectile dysfunction. I looked around at the audience members and tried to guess which of the men were afflicted.

In considering the inevitable decline of the body I was brought back to listening to the music and the concept I shared in an earlier post about the eternal aspects of tone. Every musical pitch is eternal and always present waiting for a rhythm to shape it.

I started listening to the rhythms in Dun’s music and observed how each pitch was born, lived and died within the rhythm—allowing the next pitch to manifest itself.

The violin solo in The Love was played by Cho-Liang Lin. Mr. Lin is an international violin master and also directs the La Jolla Chamber Music Society’s SummerFest. He played with conviction and authority in The Love.

Intermission.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_NelA3ZW4g

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