I've been meaning to talk about the Wordless Music Series
for while, not simply because Megan *le sigh* and Ryan
*swoon* assist in organizing the event with Ronen, but because it's an experience unlike any other in the indie scene. Their aim is to join the loosely defined "indie" genre with a deeper catalog, turning to contemporary classical music to find points of intersection. Thus it pairs familiar names with an opening ensemble of chamber music, whether that be piano, cello, violin, or "other". You might get a wonderful duet creating a cacophony on piano -and you know what? That beats the Big Sleep opening any day. They've had names like Andrew Bird and Explosions in the Sky as well as smaller acts like Toca Loca and Eluvium [currently #5 album of the year at Metacritic
]. It's the depth of the opening acts that distinguishes Wordless from -say- seeing the Books at Webster Hall. Real Quiet -who opened for the Books last night- played three compositions in innumerably altering time signatures. The audiences can be so attentive during a performance, my chewing gum felt like a locomotive in a nursery.
The New Yorker
says, "this crowd listens as intently as any audience I’ve encountered outside of Austria, and saves its whoops of enthusiasm for the end. At the moment, there is no more inventive music series in New York."
]The Books - Tokyo [mp3]The Books have nothing to say.
Maybe Tunng is refering to lower-case b
books in their song "Wind Up Bird", but the similarities between the two bands make me skeptical. Having "nothing to say" fits perfectly for a the Wordless show, despite that they do have words, do have something to say, and actually occassionally project the words on a screen behind them. Doh!
The Books were quiet wonderful. A duo who met in Inwood, they play guitar and cello over electronic samples with formless structures and the resulting combination is less dissonant and more satisfying than I'd expect. I'm not a fan of video projections, but the highly edited footage behind the two performers complimented the pieces smoothly. Such A/V-club attempts are rarely so successful, but the Books are highly in tune with the moods their own music creates - providing sentimental touches as well as humor. They now have a DVD
for those unable to get off their couches.
If all goes well, looks like next season's Wordless Music Series will be just as fantastic. They've just announced hosting Beirut for three nights in September. I wonder who's opening?Brooklyn Heathen
was there last night and well as 1xWes and 3xWes.