Taking Spectralism to the Streets

Rumor had it that Pierre Boulez performed in Amsterdam at the same time as the Output Festival, and I think I ran across his group:


Isn’t this the Ensemble InterContemporain, with Pierre on the far right playing drum? In any case, they were the hottest music I’ve heard here so far. There was a lot of I, flat VII, flat VI, V over and over in the bass, but for variety they’d go into I, V, I, ii, V, and there were so many repetitions that I can’t imagine how they kept everything straight at the riotous tempo they took. I was most impressed with the clarinetist in the blue jacket: he’d keep a lit cigarette between his fingers while playing, and puff on it between solos. Fast, fast, fast music, loud and relentless, yet melodically elegant. I had never before thought about writing something for two clarinets, two accordions, sax, and drum, but I’m sure as hell thinking about it now.


  1. Bob Gilmore says

    Ha bloody ha.
    I’ve also heard those guys in that exact spot, and yes they’re great, but so are the Ensemble Intercontemporain, and Pierre Boulez is pretty damn good too!
    Kyle, we’ve got some talking to do – I’m really looking forward to seeing you in a few days and locking horns!
    KG replies: “Locking horns”?

  2. says

    I had thought that Boulez was responsible for stealing our crowd at the Output festival (I had a piece in the 1:00 Catch Quartet show), but now I know who to blame. Thanks for the tip.