Using the Room: Music and Spacialization

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I sometimes take for granted the luxury of experiencing music from the inside. Performing, one gets a sense of balance that's skewed and favors the immediate; for me, string quartets tend to be viola-heavy with a strong seam of cello and veins of violin, as opposed to the layer cake observed by an audience member thirty feet away.

Anyone who has gone to the movies in the past twenty years is well-acquainted with the concept of spacialization. You know, t-rexes and whatnot. We tend to think of surround sound as a modern concept, but last week at the Park Avenue Armory, the New York Philharmonic made a pretty spectacular show of spacialization as it has been employed over the past 500 or so years. The Philharmonic 360 concert was one of the most enjoyable nights of orchestral music I've experienced, and I'm so happy we get to share it with you three times this week on Cued Up!

The centerpiece of the event was a crazy-pants piece by Stockhausen called Gruppen, for three orchestras. Sitting in the center of the hall between all three was completely amazing. Fueled by the fab performance of Gruppen, I'll be programming a fair amount of Stockhausen this week because he is awesome. Yay music! The summer is full of festivals and special events and there's so much cool stuff to come!