|Numinous The Music of Joseph C. Phillips Jr.|
The Numinosum Blog
Tonight I attended a benefit concert by Simone Dinnerstein as part of the PS 321 Neighborhood Concerts in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She performed Johannes Brahms' Intermezzo in A Major (one of my favorite pieces of Brahms), Philip Lasser's Twelve Variations on a Chorale by J.S. Bach, and J.S. Bach's French Suite No. 5 in G major.
All of the pieces were performed beautifully. The Brahms had an easy melodic warmth and expressivity. In the Lasser I believe it was Variation 9 with it's repetitive phrases that I was attracted to the most, although Variation 11 (which is a variation on the variations) was fun to try and follow the mists of earlier variations (the composer was in the audience and I got to meet after the concert). Listening to Simone perform French Suite I was reminded of Bach's title page of his Klavierübung where he states his goal is to stimulate the mind and refresh the spirit. I certainly felt both mentally stimulated and spiritually refreshed during Simone's reading. Following the various strands of Bach's melodies, particularly the left hand motion, made me wonder how Bach was able to create such beauty with just two simple lines weaving around each other. I told Simone after the concert...I'll be checking out more Bach!
After the concert, Simone announced the start of the PS 321 Neighborhood Concert Series with all proceeds benefiting the PS 321 PTA (certainly needed with all of the state budget cuts looming). All the artists are friends or collaborators of Simone's and sounds quite exciting for Brooklyn. One of the artists she announced, Face the Music, will be performing on the series in the spring of 2010 and have commissioned me to write a work for them! They are middle school aged students from the Special Music School in Manhattan and I'm really excited to work with them (and their director Jenny Undercofler) as I heard a broadcast of them performing Phil Kline's Exquisite Corpses for mixed ensemble and tape for the opening of WNYC's Greene Concert Space on April 30th and was quite impressed. This was one of those commissions I didn't know about until Simone contacted me about it earlier in the week (always like surprises like that!). She was performing at the Greene Space opening too and heard Face the Music perform also and asked Jenny Undercofler if they would be a part of the Neighborhood series and suggested that I might write a piece for them. I'm very honored that Simone thought of me for the commission and that Face the Music said yes; looking forward to it.
POSTED BY NUMINOUS AT 9:25 PM
To all things that create a sense of wonder and beauty that inspires and enlightens.