This afternoon at 5:45 PM Greenwich time, which if I remember my time-zone conversions correctly is 12:45 PM New York time, BBC Radio will air a special edition of the show “Music Matters” on Steve Reich’s legacy in honor of his 70th birthday. The show examines Reich’s influence in – brace yourself – the context of Uptown and Downtown, the angle being that a disreputable Downtown composer is now the darling of places like Lincoln Center. Music journalist Tom Service, who does the show, also interviewed me for local color; we drove around to Lincoln Center, the Kitchen, and the Knitting Factory. If you miss it live today, it’ll be in the archives for one week. Presumably I will be quoted.
Had I known that I would also be photographed for the web site, I wouldn’t have worn a bright pink shirt – I thought I was dressed just fine for radio.
For all those Downtown-deniers – those determined to pretend the Downtown scene never existed, those who want all memory of it obliterated, those who claim there was never any difference, those who think La Monte Young might have been a great composer if he’d only studied with Roger Sessions, those who’ve convinced themselves that Young actually did study with Sessions – the BBC interview’ll be just something else to hate me for. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
[UPDATE:] Interesting…. Carnegie Hall artistic director Ara Guzelimian, interviewed on the show, mentions that there was some thought of inaugurating Zankel Hall with the slogan “Downtown now begins at 57th Street.” I guess he hasn’t heard the news that Downtown never existed.