sounds of Amsterdam
Michael Vatcher, percussion (Angels’ Share, sculpture exhibition, Herbert Nouens; Westerpark, Sculpture Park), 2014
John Ashbery, July 28, 1927-September, 3, 2017
Alcove (Planisphere, 2009)
Is it possible that spring could be
once more approaching? We forget each time
what a mindless business it is, porous like sleep,
adrift on the horizon, refusing to take sides, “mugwump
of the final hour,” lest an agenda—horrors!—be imputed to it,
and the whole point of its being spring collapse
like a hole dug in sand. It’s breathy, though,
you have to say that for it.
And should further seasons coagulate
into years, like spilled, dried paint, why,
who’s to say we weren’t provident? We indeed
looked out for others as though they mattered, and they,
catching the spirit, came home with us, spent the night
in an alcove from which their breathing could be heard clearly.
But it’s not over yet. Terrible incidents happen
daily. That’s how we get around obstacles.
Want to be swept away?
Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Cello Concerto in A minor; Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra with Nicolas Altstaedt (cello), live, Amsertdam, 2016
art beat: other day, Art Institute of Chicago
Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940), Fresh Air for the Baby, New York East Side, c. 1910
And there’s Amsterdam in Ethiopia.
The Ex & Han Bennink (drums), Ethiopia, 2002
sounds of joy
Instant Composers Pool (ICP) Orchestra, “Lavoro” (S. Bergin, borrowing from “Moten Swing”), live, Amsterdam, 2013
Joyful? Yes. But sad, too. Pianist (and cofounder) Misha Mengelberg’s encroaching dementia, which has since sidelined him altogether, provides a poignant counterpoint.
sounds of Amsterdam
It’s a wonderful life—sometimes, anyway. This weekend, in Chicago, I got to hear these folks twice: Saturday night all together (Constellation), Sunday in a series of (mostly) duos and trios (Elastic Arts).
Instant Composers Pool (ICP) Orchestra*
“Lavoro” (S. Bergin, borrowing from “Moten Swing”), live, Oakland, Ca., 2013
“East of the Sun, West of the Moon” (Brooks Bowman), recording (East of the Sun), 2014
*Ab Baars, tenor saxophone; Tobias Delius, tenor saxophone; Michael Moore, alto saxophone; Thomas Heberer, trumpet; Walter Wierbos, trombone; Tristan Honsiger, cello; Mary Oliver, violin; Ernst Glerum, bass; Han Bennink, drums.