[UPDATED BELOW] Tomorrow night my son Bernard is playing at Lincoln Center. That is, he’s one of 200 electric guitarists performing Rhys Chatham’s The Crimson Grail at Lincoln Center Outdoors. I had no idea the piece was already recorded (with 400 guitars) on the intrepid Table of the Elements label, which makes me suspect they don’t have my current address. The program is called “800 years of Minimalism,” and includes the Beata Viscera organum of the 12th-century Notre Dame composer Perotin (whom Steve Reich cites as an influence on his early music), along with E2-E4 by Manuel Göttsching, about whom I know nothing at all. I suspect that if you live within two miles of Lincoln Center there’s no need to show up, you’ll be able to hear The Crimson Grail from your apartment. But it’s free. And Rhys has finally one-upped Glenn Branca in the size of his guitar ensemble.
UPDATE: Rained out! Or rather, the rain finally stopped, but Lincoln Center opted not to have 200 guitarists plug their axes into 200 amplifiers connected via extension chords and power strips along a lengthy dripping wet space, a decision I fully applauded, since my son was the guitarist at the end of the left flank. But poor Rhys.Related