Archive for the ‘Cut Chemist’ Category


Disney Hall for DJ Spooky, Amon Tobin, and
Cut Chemist.

You want fries with that?

For the LA Phil’s Shadow of Stalin series they and other artists remixed Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Mosolov. While other parts of the series look fascinating, this event didn’t explore much about Stalin, or the former Soviet Union. Sampled video clips from ‘Nevsky,’ ‘Potemkin,’ etc. played on two large screens front and rear, but they weren’t synched with the music and repeated too often and too randomly. It all felt random: music about music, about dance, about trance – forced into the LA Phil’s Stalin series.

One of my favorite parts was Norton Wisdom, (nice website.) He painted to the music, live onstage, as he has done with Butoh dance, Tibetan, Indian and Indonesian music, and various genres. You can vaguely see him in the bottom of the bad cellphone photo above. It seemed he had a large glass, onto which he brushed or used his fingers or a cloth to create dark, brooding, sexy images; with a bomb surprisingly added or an Uncle Sam arguing with Uncle Joe Stalin. Nice to watch them grow, and when you thought he should stop he’d make them better. Then Wisdom would wipe the images away glass with a cloth and beautiful back and forth gestures. (I always love to see window-washers work.) And he did listen to what the musicians were playing and trying to work with it. He made me think of opera, in which music and images blend.

If you like loud, I hope you were in Disney Hall last night, between about 10 pm, when it started, to past 3 am when it might have ended. I’m glad I was there. But the musicians wasted an opportunity; there they were, in Walt Disney Concert Hall with its miraculous acoustics, given an important theme to explore. They ignored both.

A side performance in a ‘side chapel’ in the arts cathedral of
Disney Hall: