12/22/10

Retrospective Notes on Three 2010 Shows: Introduction

IWTAS honored and humbled me with a request to write about my three favorite shows of 2010. The assignment has grown in my mind and on paper much too large and verbose, so I'll post the full of what I have written and am writing here and submit to IWTAS a Reader's Digest version.

Introduction: A Helpful, Albeit Silly and Overwrought Metaphor

After 2010’s shortest day I spend part of 2010’s tallest night sitting at the Hideaway bar. I contemplate my assignment: pick three shows and write about them. The man at the piano plays Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” with a feel as if we are drinking in an Old West saloon. He segues into “Blue Christmas” and maintains the saloon feel. Whatever the feel in which he plays does not really matter. The patrons pay only half-attention. The piano man knows that all we are in the mood for is the melody, and the piano man delivers that with minimal affect. The patrons on occasion sing along with a line or two, and it’s proven that Billy Joel knows what he’s talking about.

I think that were we, these bar patrons, at a show, we would be in the mood for more than a melody. We would pay more than half-attention. Most apparent and immediate for each of us as an audience member would be the moment - the ecstatic state of seeing and listening. I devise a silly and overwrought metaphor to guide me in my assignment. The moment is a pearl-headed pin pressed into thick woolen fabric. To step back; to see so many pearls upon thick woolen fabric; to fashion constellations upon topographies; to spot three bright pearls upon peaks of woolen fabric. (It’s a silly and overwrought metaphor, but it helpfully guides my arriving at the following three pearls of 2010.)

Tomorrow: Meredith Monk & SLSO at Powell Hall - 03/13/10

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