Me sketching in Canarie, by Dave Mandl.
East Brooklyn, After Snow, Before More Snow
A few weeks back, Dave Mandl invited me to accompany him on a jaunt out to Eastern Brooklyn, to see what we could find. Dave found a bunch of great photographs, and I found these two sketches:
“In the same time it takes an average Instagram user to choose between the Mayfair and Lo-Fi filters, Brooklyn artist Jason Das can sketch a portrait.”
— From a very nice profile of me in DNAinfo.
Visitations: “Theotokia” and “The War Reporter” at Roulette
After I sketched Christopher Dylan Herbert’s “Winterize”, he kindly invited me to a performance of Visitations, a set of two one-act operas by Jonathan Berger, which featured Chris’s group New York Polyphony. It was held at Roulette, as part of the Prototype festival.
It really enjoyed it! I think I’d go to a lot more operas if they were all as compact and engaging as these were. (Probably a lot of them are and I just need to try harder.)
In the sketches below, you’ll see soprano Mellissa Hughes, the four male singers of New York Polyphony, and about half of the onstage orchestra. (Most of the other half was made up of the JACK quartet, who I sketched elsewhere recently.) The visible instrumentalists are: Doug Balliett (bass), Tara O’Connor (flute), Pascal Archer (clarinet), Christopher Rountree (conductor/music director), and David Cossin (percussion).
And the words are all from Dan O’Brien’s libretto.
Here’s a flyer I made to help save my neighborhood Community Garden, Roger That Garden Project.
Christopher Dylan Herbert’s “Winterize” at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
A few weeks ago, on the day of the Winter Solstice, Make Music Winter made a bunch of very special musical events happen around New York City. Luckily for me, some of them were very close to home.
Christopher Dylan Herbert performed his “Winterize” in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It’s a staging of Schubert’s “Winterreise” cycle which moves around the garden, Herbert singing to prerecorded accompaniment played back on small radios, while translations of the lyrics are held up on large cue cards. It was a wonderful performance, and a fun experience, very reverent to the music while being rather irreverent to the trappings that traditionally go along with “the classics”. There were some significant technical difficulties with the radios, but perhaps that was cosmic justice for the weather being so unseasonably balmy? There needs to be some struggle.
In any case, while cold weather would have been more appropriate, the warm weather certainly made sketching easier. I think I did this one just before he took his coat off.
Later that day I participated in another Make Music Winter event, Merche Blasco’s “Blink”, which involved cyclists ringing our bells in response to light cues. It was more successful as a happening than as music, but it was fun, and the concept has a lot of potential. (And I’m right in the middle of this New York Times photo of it; that’s got to be good for something.)