Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Philip Glass At the Hollywood Bowl!

Photo taken by Mrs. Jaycee

Mrs. Jaycee and I spent a wonderful Thursday night at the Hollywood Bowl for "Classical Thursdays" courtesy of Project Ensemble. My buddy Pat's Wife, Mrs. Pat runs the organization whose aim is to expose people to classical music. Her main goal is to expose Black and Hispanic Kids from the Inner city to Classical music.


So, this past Thursday, Mrs. Jaycee and I drove to the Hollywood Bowl. Now, for all y'all folks who haven't been to the Hollywood Bowl, dig, The Hollywood Bowl is So Cal's Carnegie Hall! It's one of the greatest venues for presenting music. The scenery is wonderful! The acoustics are extraordinary!

That said, the Bowl is the Playboy Jazz Festival's regular venue but you can hear and see many different things at the Bowl. One night you can hear Branford Marsalis and the next Mary J. Blige followed by Ravi Shankar! So, Pat hooked me up with tickets and I called two other couples to attend with us but both were unable to make it that it evening. So Mrs. Jaycee and I braved the 110 Northbound to the 101 freeway and exited on Highland blvd. Now, just so you know. Mista Jaycee hates the hills surrounding Hollywood! But I'll brave them as long as the Hollywood Bowl is standing cause that's just how awesome the Bowl is!

We parked and grabbed our picnic basket! That's right, you can bring a picnic basket and your own wine. We ended up hitting the concession stand, which was cool, but $4 dollars for a HOT DOG! Noooooooooooooo! Never again! The next time I go, I'm hitting up Costco to grabbed a few Kosher Hotdogs!

But all that aside, the crowd was at full capacity. I did see a small but very noticeable amount of Black People but the crowd of 18,000 came from all walks of life. There were Elderly people, Artsy Fartsy high school kids, and people who looked like they would be right at home at a Phish Concert and a Jazmine Sullivan show. So it was a real cool mix! We sat behind a Cuban Family, who brought their kids! Alot of Families did and it was great!

Photo courtesy of the Web

You know the mainstream media never covers certain aspects like folks from different racial, economic and cultural backgrounds getting together and enjoying each other! This happens regularly in LA! It does! There are some cool folks all around!

So the concert began. There were five big screens surrounding the bowl. As the sun set I was a lil nervous about what I would hear. The only thing I knew about that evenings composer Philip Glass was that South Park once spoofed him in a Christmas Episode! I had heard he was a minimalist composer but even though I was a Music Major I had no idea what the heck that meant! I braced myself for an evening of dissonance!

But after the rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was played at the introduction, Mr. Glass came out and talked with the audience. He was personable, funnie and friendly. He didn't talk over us! He seemed like he was just as excited that we were there as we were!

Photos taken by Mrs. Jaycee

He sat at the piano and played "Facades" and "Spaceship from Einstein on the Beach!" Facades was played on a grand piano and wasn't that way out at all. In fact, the piece sounded like other classical musics like Chopin if he was filtered through Chick Corea or Robert Fripp! It was melodic, soothing and pretty not scary at all! Don't confuse that with safe! It wasn't safe!

Philip Glass was accompanied by the The Great Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. So in addition to his own ensemble we heard electronic synth sounds counterpointed by violas and trumpets. Lisa Bielawa's soprano vocals were outerworldly set against the organ and electronic sounds with the orchestra!

But the highlight of the night was the new arrangement of Koyaanisqatsi (Life out of Balance)
This is where the screens around the bowl came in handy. Koyaanisqatsi is set to film. The filmmaker is none other than Francis Ford Coppola. Yeah, that dude! So for the next hour you heard at least four movements of music with at least and hour and half worth of all manner of visuals! Buildings imploding! Smiling faces! New York City traffic! Imagine it at super speed! It was like a roller coaster then it would slllllllllow to a snaaaaaails crawl and so would the film!

We didn't wait for the end of the program cause it was well after 10 and we were scared we'd be trapped by the traffic but as I waited for Mrs. Jaycee, to freshen up in the powder room, I spoke with an older man who like me got scared of a very large Gorilla Mutant German Shepherd type dog thing that a Lady in a wheelchair had on a leash! Anyway, he found the visuals stunning but a lil overwealming! We had a fantastic time and we are looking forward to going again this week! I am going to post more on information on Project Ensemble and hope that you subscribe and perhaps......donate! It's a great program!

Right! I second that but hey sometimes you can use a lil more overwhelming cause well....most of the shows I've seen lately leave me a lil well.....underwhelmed!

To join the membership list of PROJECT ENSEMBLE send an email to PROJENS@aol.com BE Sure to send a Donation!

BE Mindful! BE Prayerful! BE Careful!


Miss.Stefanie said...

You always open my mind up to something new!

Mista Jaycee said...

Good! But I believe in trade so you've got to hip me to something new! Or at least help me fight the clown that scares me in my dreams! 8-) Stupid clowns!