ONE note, to be exact. It was the New York premiere of the “Monotone-Silence Symphony.” Conceived by the late French artist Yves Klein (1928-1962), the symphony requires 70 musicians and singers to take turns hold a single sound for TWENTY minutes, followed by another twenty minutes of DEAD SILENCE. The piece was performed just once in Klein’s own lifetime, in Paris in 1960, accompanied by three nude models smearing themselves with Klein’s signature blue paint. New York art gallery owner Dominique Levy was the moving force behind this past week’s performance: “I thought that was the craziest and most unreasonable thing to ever do,” Levy said. “How can you expect people to even bear 20 minutes of one note and 20 minutes of silence? And then I was lucky enough to experience it approximately, I think, ten years ago. And it was a life-changing experience.” Life-changing enough that she organized the concert to coincide with an exhibition of Klein’s paintings and sculptures — most of them blue. “If you think about it, it’s one single tone,’ Levy said. “And he works in monochromatic color, one single color.” And so to Wednesday night’s performance in a Manhattan church (minus the distraction of the three nude models in blue). Together, the voices and instruments had a mesmerizing effect over time. To listen to Yves Klein’s “Monotone-Silence Symphony,” click on the audio player. Audio recording courtesy of Bill Siegmund, of Digital Island Studios, New York.
Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall is inextricably of L.A.
The auditorium was pushed back toward 2nd and Hope streets and clad in limestone. A pedestrian bridge reached over 1st Street to Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. A glass dome crowned a single-story restaurant along Grand. Panorama: Inside Walt Disney Concert Hall with Frank Gehry Even in this embryonic form it was easy to see the influence on Gehry of Hans Scharoun’s 1963 Berlin Philharmonic. Scharoun produced for postwar West Germany a low-slung, open-hearted concert hall that was determined to look anti-monumental and avoid any comparison to the Nazi landmarks of the 1930s. Interview with Frank Gehry Frank Gehry on the making of Disney Hall Architect Frank Gehry discusses the creation of Walt Disney Concert Hall. Interview by Mark Swed. Gehry aimed to do something similar, but for cultural rather than political reasons. He wanted his design to protect the idea of the concert hall as refuge but also to embody the essential informality of Los Angeles. He wanted to demystify and democratize classical music, a goal that happened to match those of the leaders of the L.A. Phil, first Ernest Fleischmann and later Deborah Borda. Getting from design to finished building was a hugely complicated process even by the standards of civic architecture in Los Angeles. Work on the hall stalled by 1994, and the project nearly collapsed for lack of money. Once it was restarted in 1997 the year Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, opened to heaps of praise it quickly hit another crisis as Eli Broad and others moved to hire a second architecture firm to handle the working drawings for the complex design. Only when Walt Disney’s daughter Diane Disney Miller made a final gift contingent on Gehry’s full control of the design was the impasse broken.
Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / May 17, 2013) Also See more stories X A chorus of memories: Disney Hall, as they saw it and lived it Video: Inside Disney Hall Disney Hall usher’s ‘side’ job becomes a way of life Photos:Disney Hall conductors Interactive graphic: Disney Hall, inside and out Disney Hall: Yasuhisa Toyota’s fluid, innovative approach to sound Diane Disney Miller reflects on a Disney Hall turning point Disney Hall: Musical dream bankrolled by taxpayers, private donors L.A. Phil board Chairman David C. Phil responds to critic Full Coverage: Walt Disney Concert Hall September 20, 2013, 9:00 a.m. The Los Angeles Philharmonic kicks off its celebration of Walt Disney Concert Hall’s 10th anniversary with three free community concerts: Wednesday at City of Hope in Duarte, Thursday at Wilshire United Methodist Church in Los Angeles and Saturday at Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. On Sept. 29, the orchestra heads to Disney Hall for a free 4 p.m. concert, with music director Gustavo Dudamel conducting and a live simulcast across the street on a giant screen at Grand Park. The season begins with a gala on Sept. 30 and includes an anniversary concert on Oct. 23, the actual date of Disney Hall’s 2003 opening.