Thursday, December 7, 2006

Carnegie Hall

Yesterday I went to Carnegie Hall for the first time. I also went to see Denise's boyfriend Alistair perform for the first time. You can see his name on the poster to the right if you squint.

The concert was in Zenkler hall, the newer, underground theater. Apparently it has the best acoustics; you can also hear the subways rumbling by. During the first piece, at least, this was kind of atmospheric because the music was generally unnerving and terrifying. I liked the other two pieces - the ones involving Alistair - better.

The interesting thing about seeing concerts for me is that I go in feeling the way I imagine the average museum-goer feels in a museum - interested, curious, open, but also kind of frustrated and mystified. I know that there's so much more to understand that I don't. But I enjoyed the music and I enjoyed watching the performers.

This one is (almost) a close up of Alistair, in the blue collared shirt, second from the right:

I liked that Alistair had a very focused, controlled, kind of still way of playing. Some of the other cellists were squirming and flopping like a baby on a changing table.

I got to meet some of Denise's friends - not surprisingly, they are lovely and vivacious and smart - and afterwards, I tagged along to the afterparty with the other cellists. First of all, this involved a very brief and frankly kind of uneventful but nonetheless thrilling jaunt backstage. Backstage! At Carnegie Hall! All I really saw was a tray of cookies that didn't look very edible, and the cellists that still looked pretty much exactly the way they did onstage. We went to a restaurant around the corner, and I had yet another insufficiently peaty scotch (why is it so hard to find scotch that tastes like dirt? doesn't everybody want their scotch to taste like dirt?) and everybody else mostly drank beer. The other musicians were also pretty interesting people, full of good stories.

I was especially excited about the concert because yesterday was Ariana's book-launch party (unfortunately, yet typically, I missed the reading because I went to the wrong location, realized my mistake, recouped, and then went to the right location and got there too late). So that makes two days in a row when I see friends of mine in the midst of major accomplishments, and it really makes me feel excited and happy and proud and lucky to know them.


Sandra said...

What is the name of the band of in which Alistair is part? Do they have any CD recordings?

Sandra said...

What is the name of Ariana's book? Who is the publisher?

denise said...

Hehe, it's Zankel, not Zenkler. We'll have to bring you to more concerts so you get the venues down cold ;)