Roof Lawn at Lincoln Center

roof lawn at Lincoln Center
I actually wrote a letter to Lincoln Center in the 1980s saying they should make it more of a hang-out and add more low-brow entertainment further advising them that it would pay off in the long run. Since then, they’ve expanded the whole “Out-of-doors” program and rebuilt the plaza to include this amazing roof lawn on the north side. Ta-da.

Spieling Around a Dry Fountain; Alice Tully Hall

dry fountain at Lincoln Center

At Lincoln Center yesterday, there was a graduation ceremony for Juilliard students. I found it odd they couldn’t turn the fountain on as part of the festivities — all those snapshots of parents and new graduates in their fine clothes and lint-free graduation gowns made lacklustre by some cost-cutting bureaucrat.

The refurbishing of Alice Tully Hall across the street is magnificently successful. Looking a little dangerous, right on the corner, a public bleacher with glass edges juts out of the sidewalk at a knife-like angle. Presumably, there will be pleasant jazz trios (avoiding hard bop and free jazz) performing at the base for lunchtime enjoyment. The roof that parallels over the outdoor bleacher now houses the new balcony area of the hall inside.

The glassed-in public lobby dovetails nicely with a Slavoj Zizek talk I heard recently. Zizek argues that new architecture for public performance spaces is a bonafide outreaching to different classes for dialogs in high-brow and low-brow culture. They have by necessity become these goofy institutional public/private spaces made special by good architects and well-meaning underwriters for the arts. Unfortunately, the café counter in this lobby only seems to be serving drinks and food directly before performances. (I could be mistaken.)

The hall itself is generally more woodsy than before and the acoustics are superior. I don’t like that the new seats lack a spring to make the seats raise by themselves when letting fellow patrons get to their own seats although the burgundy color works with the wood.

Rhys Chatham’s A Crimson Grail Returns

A Crimson Grail rehearsal, 2008
A Crimson Grail rehearsal, 2008

It was a sad night last year when 216 guitarists and bassists were told three days of rehearsal were all for nought due to rain.

Wordless Music is thankfully remounting it again this year on Saturday, August 8, 2009, with precautions in place that’ll make sure the show goes on, rain or shine. There was a contingency plan last year to do it in the rehearsal church with the threat of rain and if you ask me, they ignored the weather forecast.

Anyway, click here to apply! It’ll be a blast!