Kronos, Plus a Massive Digression

20 04 2007

Last night, I saw the Kronos Quartet perform at the Kimmel Center. Kronos performed a single piece, Terry Riley’s Sun Rings, a 10-movement work featuring a choir, multimedia stuffs, and space music. I had a great time. The music was peaceful, and Kronos’s strings paired well with the space sounds. The 90 minutes whizzed by.

I’m a big fan of the Quartet. Last April, I spent a long weekend in New York so that I could see Kronos play at Carnegie Hall. In the first of the two concerts I saw (er, heard?), Kronos was joined by pipa player Wu Man. I was really taken with the pipa, and I’ve been playing one of Wu Man’s CDs since. The second concert, which was the highlight of my visit, featured Kronos’s collaboration with Bollywood’s preeminent playback singer, Asha Bhosle. (If you haven’t heard the CD produced by Kronos and Bhosle, You’ve Stolen My Heart – Songs from R.D. Burman’s Bollywood, you really should give it a try. It’s exquisite.)

Now that I think about it, I guess that was the same trip I saw Rabbit Hole on Broadway. The play, which was written by David Lindsay-Abaire, just won the Pulitzer Prize. Truthfully, though, the performances—by Cynthia Nixon (who won a Tony), John Slattery, and Tyne Daly (random aside: I saw her on the street that same day)—drew me in as much as the text. Not that it matters, but I’ve now seen the last two Pulitzer Prize winners on Broadway. Doubt won in 2005. But there’s a technicality: No play won in 2006.

Since I’m already on a huuuuuuge diversion, I might as well continue. I had such a good time on that trip to New York, at least in part, because I stayed at the coolest hotel, Dream. Surely there’s some good reason for me to head back to NYC soon so I can stay there again….

Anyway, moving back to Kronos, I was supposed to attend last night’s concert with an old friend. Early in the day, though, he let me know he had the flu. (Everyone seems to be sick right now!) So I spent a good chunk of the day trying, not at all successfully, to find someone, anyone to go with me. It was last-minute, I know, and the idea of space music certainly turned a couple of people off—but sheesh. It’s not good for the ego when you can’t find anyone who’ll take a free ticket. Hmph.




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