Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rhys Chatham - A Crimson Grail - 200 Electric Guitars

Minimalist avant composer of guitar orchestras, Rhys Chatham, brought his 200 six string masterpiece to Lincoln Center on Saturday, August 8, 2009. The outdoor concert resonated through Damrosch Park as Chatham returned to his native New York City after moving to Paris in 1987.

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Many guitarists of all facial hair designs participated.

Though it appeared everyone was instructed to wear black pants and a white shirt, personal touches like the "hipster hat" were apparently allowed.

Even girls with tatoos joined in on the fun.

Section leaders were positioned in lofty command posts.

Section leader John King relaxes just before the performance.

The beatific presence of St. Chatham

Mr. King directs with authority.

Even karate chop movements were employed.

The view from my "foxhole"

He played it lefthand, but not too far

Bathed in Crimson. The Grail couldn't be far behind.

In all seriousness - it was a magnificent performance.


Anonymous said...

This looks like an interesting event
The Big Apple has it all, and DC seems to cover most of it ;) Good work my man!

ViewFromSpookysDoghouse said...

DC does it again, taking why-on-earth-was-this-ever-created music and crafting a carefully constructed companion guide for the inquiring layperson. Considering the size and scope of the venue and the work being critiqued, this was no small feat. Wordsmithing his way through the complexities of this minimalist piece, Cromwell is equally entertaining whether he is glorifying RC-DC (Rhys Chatham-the Deified Composer) or just being a guy and regaling us with some lighthearted mentions of distracted chick watching. Personally, I may not ever fully understand what all those guitarists were musically buzzing about, but from reading his piece, you are left confident that Dave does. And therefore, all is well if it's been Cromwelled.

Mr Smork said...

nice review, dave. like the way you are telling a story this time - everything from your perspective. don't know what exactly, but this time your writing is something different... and if there even are no interesting comparisons as in your last article - i like it.
and i was looking videos from that event, but i couldn't anything with real playing, only chords that sound as rehearsals.... and as i saw video from the previous - catham's orchestra played music was way different. anyway maybe i should dig more into youtube...
feel the free! :)

Anonymous said...


x said...

This is fantastic. Such events are truly breathtaking- the scale of a thing speaks for itself. So many people creating music at the same time! Great, great thing. Fantastic review and pics.