From Hammered! At Q2: “The Raw And The Cooked”
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Week Three: Pianist, pedagogue and new-music guru Bruce Brubaker takes the curatorial reins for June
Monday, June 27, 2011
“With apologies to Claude Lévi-Stauss, this week on Hammered!, The Raw and the Cooked. How do materials get made into art? How do scales, chords, and tremolos turn into compelling music? What happens when delicious ingredients are baked, stirred, or julienned?
And when we’re cooking up some art, how do we know when it’s done? Sometimes achieving art requires high-level technique. And sometimes too much obvious refinement seems to get in the way of something more real.
Those mysterious foams and sous-vide dishes from the molecular gastronomy chefs can be wondrous, or just too precious. What’s the exact transition point between raw and ready?
We use many forms of technology to do our work. The piano’s a remarkable machine, an artifact of Industrial Revolution high technology. Sometimes we try to adapt our bodies or minds to what machines can do. But at least so far, machines are made by humans, and our artistic interactions with machines often end up disclosing what humanity really is.
On Hammered!, in our tasting of The Raw and the Cooked, there will be music by Sylvano Bussotti that’s written graphically, with pictures rather than notes, and played inside the piano, and all over the outside of the piano too. We hear György Ligeti’s testing of the human player’s limits, and Alvin Curran deconstructing and reconstructing something very familiar.
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