The Sound of a Fellow New Yorker

One day in August, Rimona sang to me “that new café… ” line. A member of Grace Chorale Brooklyn, and a Fellow New Yorker, she said she will perform it repeatedly while other choristers will sing different lines creating together The Mile-Long Opera: a biography of 7 o’clock. “Is David Lang by any chance the composer?” – I asked, as it immediately reminded me of “the day,” performed at Bang On A Can festival in spring. Simple, repetitive, deeply human… This time also immersive, multisensory, site-specific.

Funny, how the absence of references to minimalism and various developments in the history of opera changes everything…
Funny, how the absence of references to minimalism and various developments in the history of opera changes nothing…

October 3rd, I am standing in line to get into the line which will hopefully lead me to an entrance to High Line, holding two tickets which Rimona handed to me this morning in one hand, and the hand of another Fellow New Yorker in another. I remember my first summer in the city, when the second section of High Line had just opened, and I fell in love with the concept of “Fellow New Yorker” and its actual representation at the same time. I haven’t started hearing the sounds of The Mile-Long Opera yet, but I already feel its spirit. It’s past 7 o’clock.

Funny, how the lack of references to various post-modern philosophies changes everything…
Funny, how the lack of references to various post-modern philosophers changes nothing…

One way to describe “what happened” “on stage” that night (for a more conventional account, read here ) is to “define” a “Fellow New Yorker”, or rather, to map several characteristics of this species, and then say – there were a thousand of them performing a specified script, and several thousand adding improvised elements.
Someone willing to stand in line that will lead them to an unforgettable intellectual, cultural, artistic or spiritual experience (remember mile-long lines to The Night of Philosophy, or The Stone benefit on Avenue C, lines to new shows at museums, or – which one is your favorite line?) Someone who constantly mourns the closure or relocation of favorite places. Someone who can’t tell the difference between life and art, but loves to discuss it as if they were professional philosophers, as they are constantly presented with objects that fit both categories at the same time. See those people wiping the windows? Are they a part of the script? You know they are once the idea is repeated.

Funny, how the lack of references to John Cage and his ideas of art entering daily life changes everything
Funny, how the lack of references to John Cage and his ideas of art entering daily life changes nothing

Verse/Spot 16 (out of 26), “will you marry me.” I am standing on a metal structure above the singers, trembling, holding the hand of the FNY who made me tremble here before, who said almost these words just around the corner, in that old café (is it still there?).
Personal stories. Making art together. I look into your eyes, you look back, you say, I listen. Simple, repetitive, deeply human.

Erlena Dlu

©2018 by Extended Techniques. All Rights Reserved.

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One thought on “The Sound of a Fellow New Yorker

  1. Pingback: 18 Most Memorable Music Events in New York in 2018 | extended techniques

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