9/30/18. CicLAvia in the morning. Starting from Koreatown – after extensive tire-inflating and cobweb dusting – we headed up Western to Melrose, and up Vine. Then back down Melrose to Wilshire & Western, as far as H.M.S. Bounty. Glorious bright, sunny, warm with a breeze. The novelty of actually seeing buildings and businesses that have been driven past for three decades.
The Bowl in the evening. Grabbed chips and To Go food and just made it to our seats with the 18,000 other lottery winners. There were also a million people on stage: all the YOLA kids were there sitting with their mentors.
After which it unfolded as an extremely miscellaneous concert. Kali Uchis provided an interesting retro-30s bombshell style. Herbie Hancock provided a gigantic jam on “Rockit,” perhaps the best music of the evening.
Katy Perry provided a tribute to CicLAvia: Queen’s “Bicycle”! Then she sang “Firework” as an amazing firework illuminated the sky. Who is she?
A surprise at the end: John Williams, conducting the intro to “Star Wars”.
The “visual experience” by Xitelabs animated the arch of the shell, the speakers, the sides of the stage, etc. with lines, patterns and colors. It was colorful and fun, appropriate for the festive occasion. It probably helped people tolerate the Paul Desenne premiere, which was a bit too acidic for a celebration.
The “Firebird” visuals provided prismatic chiaroscuro constructivism that was genial, but with Stravinsky’s music, who needs it? As visual accompaniment it wasn’t quite up to choreography by Balanchine.
And that Appix app …. First of all, it seems a funny moment to ask people to download an app that will take control of their phone. Second, the flashing light effect it created was only visible if you turned your back to the stage: is that what the performers want?
10/2/2018. Refik Anadol’s “WDCH Dreams”. There were absolutely breathtaking moments. At times Disney Hall disappeared, which is really something. It wasn’t an installation, but a movie, projected on the building, with each piece of the façade acting as a separate screen. I thought you would experience it by walking around the building. No: if you got too close you just cast a shadow, spoiling the effect.
10/4/2018. LA Phil’s 100th season kick-off concert was broadcast live on KUSC. The big event was a premiere of Andrew Norman’s “Sustain”, in which arpeggios unfurled with deep-sea-like slowness and grace.
Tuesday, 10/9/18. “L.A.’s Newest Music” started in the garden, with Ellen Reid’s “Oscillations: One Hundred Years and Forever” in the Keck Amphitheatre: a choir and soloists cooing, ah-ing, and sighing in shimmering, shifting harmonies.
Carolyn Chen’s “The Sleeper and the Drinker” seems to have been the official Big Event, with Dudamel himself conducting. But the the work that has stuck with me was Natacha Diels’ “Laughing to Forget”, featuring tightly choreographed nervous ticks (Face right! Face left! Sway!), odd exhortations (“We’re here!” “Consolations of beauty”), and, joking aside, the richest, liveliest instrumental music of the evening.