You may have noticed a sizeable gap in yMusic communication. Instead of skirting the issue, I find it best to lay it bare, stick it right out there in the open. And in so doing, I want to reassure you all that our group has been full of the best of intentions. The absolute best. For instance, Mike Block promised me two weeks in a row that he would deliver a blog that weekend. He said he didn’t want to be the last one in the group to get one up on the website. Not the most inspired stance, perhaps, but a little pragmatism can go a long way. I’d like to take a moment to recognize him for thinking about doing something.
Mike isn’t the only one with big ideas. Alex Sopp had one too. She even shared the specifics. You see, 5/6ths of yMusic spent about 4 days over in Champaign-Urbana, IL last week. We were performing in “The Long Count,” a multimedia piece written by The National’s Dessner twins and visual artist, Matthew Ritchie. The days went something like this:
Rehearse for 3 hours, walk to Bread Company, order the sandwich you didn’t get yesterday, buy a $.40 cookie on your way out, rehearse for 3 hours, discuss whether the loading dock or the main entrance is a quicker exit, walk in divided camps to Campus Town, argue over the merits of ethnic food in a land-locked hamlet, divide the group, walk back to Bread Company, order from the dinner specials menu, discuss how much better your food is than the other group’s, catch the shuttle bus to the highway-adjacent “Eastland Suites,” walk 7 minutes from lobby to rooms, congregate in room 127 (mine), start and finish a bottle of rum, gin, whiskey (depending upon the day), order Domino’s, destroy that pizza and breadsticks, walk to Circle K gas station and purchase liquid reinforcements, drink some and leave the rest strewn about the room, let the party fizzle like yesterday’s tonic water, sleep well in a surprisingly comfortable bed.
Sounds like a good hang, right? It was. Which brings me back to Alex Sopp. Poor Alex. She was unavailable to render her high-pitched, tuplet-tearing services due to a previous commitment with the New York Carpentry Assocation’s Community Band. Naturally, she was regretting this fact and making it known publicly, using tools such as group text, twitter, and even that old communication dinosaur, email. At one point, she told me of a blog idea. She warned it would be a little narcissistic. I was intrigued. It seemed young Alex had devised a scheme whereby the other 5 members of yMusic could write her postcards, scan them in, and upload them to the blog. The use of the postcard is compelling. A real meeting of new and old, I’d say. There was just one problem: Champaign-Urbana isn’t exactly a postcard-pushing kinda town. You should see the airport. The runway is surrounded by cornfields, they recommend you arrive roughly 15 minutes before your flight takes off, they offer complimentary broadband cables near the gates and I’m pretty sure they clean the bathroom a few times a day. No, this was definitely not a postcard situation. So, Alex’s blog (which, like all great ideas, involved absolutely no contribution from the inventor herself) fell by the wayside and the days tore on like a bicycle gliding along the sidewalk.
I guess the silver lining in all of this is the shame and self-loathing it caused which naturally progressed to a vague sense of motivation. It’s all unfortunate, really, because there has been quite a lot to write about. CJ and I took a bromantic trip to Orcas Island, WA, to perform in the island’s Chamber Music Festival. Gabriel Kahane was out there doing his whole Composer-in-Residence jam and if he was a mouth, we were sort of like the straw to his strawberry daiquiri. Yes, be puzzled. Anyway, CJ and I stayed with a fantastic couple, the Markovs, who have the world’s longest and most beautiful driveway which leads to a lovely house perched atop a hill on 70 acres of land. All the food they put on the table was either caught by them in nearby bodies of water or grown in their garden. It was fantastically fresh and has made eating in New York City, not exactly a culinary dry well, consistently disappointing. Throughout the week, I snapped some shots on my phone and thought we could co-write a blog called “You’re Jealous of Us.” It would have been such an effective summary both of our week in Orcas and of the way we generally regard ourselves. (For further reference, please see Hideaki’s blog.)
As much as I’m enjoying this nostalgic trip through what might have been, I’d like to turn our thoughts to the future. yMusic has 2 exciting events remaining in 2009 and the general ‘you’ to whom I address my quips should definitely attend them both. They are the 3 fun-filled nights at BAM’s Opera House, performing “The Long Count” during the Next Wave Festival, and our very first yMusic concert at the Brooklyn Library’s Dweck Center. Go on, follow the links, bust out that money clip and make me proud!