Red Fish Blue Fish play the ending of “Persephassa,” from Xenakis: Percussion Works (Mode).
This year’s edition of Make Music New York, the pan-urban musical bacchanal that I reviewed and blogged about last year, will take place next Monday, June 21st. There will be three New Orleans-style second-line parades; two performances of Xenakis’s percussion piece “Persephassa” on and around the lake in Central Park, with the audience listening in rowboats; sixty pianos playing on various city streets; mass congregations of accordions, bagpipes, cellos, clarinets, flutes, and so on; and a guitar-shredding challenge in Bryant Park. Last year’s events were troubled by bad weather; the forecast for Monday, knock on wood, is so far looking pretty good.
About the Xenakis performance, the Make Music Web site explains: “The six percussionists will be placed in a roughly hexagonal arrangement around the west side of the lake—two in lakeside gazebos, one on a rock outcropping and three on floating platforms built especially for the event. The percussionists include Steven Schick, formerly of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, who is a world-renowned champion of contemporary music and Xenakis specialist, and Doug Perkins, formerly of So Percussion. In addition to listening from rowboats, customarily rented to tourists and others for lake outings, audience members will gather on paths and bridges surrounding the lake…. The floating stages atop which three percussionists will play are being constructed by boat building group Floating The Apple, based in New York City. Each plywood platform will be mounted astride two boats and, in addition to the percussionist, will have an oarsperson onboard to keep the stage steady.”
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