RF & The OCG VII In NY
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., May 27, 2013
My thanks to guestbook regular Emory for posting this impression of last night's performance by the OCG VII in New York.
"Well, that was quite a little event, there at St Mark’s Church.
most of the time I can tell if an event is going to work for me even
before the band shows up: The audience present has a lot to do with
whether I can fully participate given the feeling. But in that church
(quite historic in NYC, actually, as Peter Stuyvesant I believe is
buried there), there was a really cool crowd. Yes, the occasional warmed
over Crimhead, but I really didn’t get the feeling that anyone expected
anything other than the kinds of things we experienced. And, there were
When the Orchestra came out they were lead by an
intense-looking Frida Khalo-eque lady, which spoke volumes about the
event and how it came to be.
Wait, to back up: Before the
guitarists came out there were 5 or 6 people who asked the audience not
to record or photograph the event, flash or no, in numerous languages
(French, Italian, Spanish, English, German). But when the Orchestra came
out, before we saw them we could hear them for several minutes in
advance and then they came out up on the balcony of the church. Oddly
and incomprehensibly, I found myself almost panicking: I need to take
out my phone to video this! This need to be captured on video! That
feeling lasted maybe 5 minutes, and in all my years of attending musical
performances I have never felt that way before.
’performance’ itself was fascinating, and arguably the logical
conclusion to all that Fripp has always hammered the universe about, in
terms of commerce, money, payment and so on. What we saw and experienced
wasn’t so much a series of tunes (ie, like the Crafty Guitarists), but
really just a public recital of the work Guitar circlists do on the
Courses. It was 75% improvised and, as such, fascinating and alive and
totally contrary to the usual transaction that is musical performance
these days. Far more chaos was tolerated than I would have thought, and I
found it all refreshing. What we "paid for", then, wasn’t so much to be
entertained but, instead, we audients collectively took on the cost of
this public recital, which I imagine would have been impossible
otherwise. If one understood this going in, one received exactly what
one paid for.
As for the circulation of the silence, I tried very
hard to hear it but found I could not (over and above the movement of
the bodies, of course), though for perhaps 2 or 3 seconds I heard it try
to lock in, but for me it didn’t.
Oh, and having the performance in the afternoon really made it special, for some reason. That made it very un-show-like."
meanwhile over on Facebook, Patrick Grant offers this account.
"This afternoon was one of the most beautiful concerts I've ever witnessed. The music of course, but the way it was played and presented. I heard drums, harps, pianos.
When you all first came in, in the balcony, I was convinced it was electronic, but that didn't make sense exactly. The presence of the performer was fascinating. Mr. Fripp's demeanor… The mini-concert in the midst of the mass movement, and all that movement: I would love to talk about the basis of the movement. People knew what they were doing; the directions were clear, and I'm sure there were created moments where the performer had the "freedom" to make a decision. Some of our Living actions are like that. I'm always looking for new forms, and saw a lot today. Tell whoever that I'm now a believer. Frippery?"