“Two guys” identified

In my post a while ago about Chris O’Riley’s terrific concert of Radiohead and Shostakovich, I neglected to mention the graphics that were a notable part of it. Steve Smith, in a comment, asked me what I thought of them (a compassionate way of pointing out my omission!), and, explaining what had gone on, I talked about “two guys with laptops” sitting on stage, creating the effective graphics in real time.

And then the two guys e-mailed to tell me (again very politely) that they had names. Which I should have mentioned! So apologies to Stephen Byram and Jonathon Rosen, who created the graphics, and were an integral part of the concert I liked so much.

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  1. says

    Well, Steve forgot to mention in review that O’Riley had used his own composed passages as segues between Shostakovich and Radiohead’s material. So I guess it’s hard to cover everything in the space of a short concert review.

    I attended the Debussy / Drake recital with a friend who is an incredible visual artist. We both were disappointed by the visual component to this particular concert. The artists onstage were not choosing or pacing the projection of their images with any sensitivity to the music. My friend wondered during the intermission why they didn’t just let a single image sit for a few minutes while O’Riely was playing.

    Another issue was the use of stock images i.e. images that did not belong to either artist onstage but were in fact stills from films by other artists. This is a great way to “break the spell” when presenting a mixed media performance. I want to see the artists’ “hand” or “gesture” in the work – not samples from their collection of images in shuffle mode.

    I just didn’t understand where these two were coming from when it came to performing.

    For the past two years my trio (laptop, trumpet, electric guitar) has presented several Music For Silent Films events where we and other guest musicians improvise music to a program of contemporary silent films. We’ve presented this program to full houses in New York City as well as New Orleans, Richmond, VA, and Columbus, Ohio. The film makers love it (we show newly created silent films by friends and friends of friends) because of the level of sensitivity they perceive in the sound and how it relates or runs counter to their images.

    It’s wonderfully challenging thing to combine music with live image, and I’m always surprised when I attend similar events where there just doesn’t seem to have been much thought in advance as to how to do it.

    Finally, re: your various posts regarding creative presentation of music in the concert hall. You’ve neglected dance – and this is a medium I am close to as I’ve composed a lot of music for dance since relocating to NYC over 10 years ago. But this too is a collaborative approach that is neglected by the press and again done without much care all to often due to (speaking frankly) a lack of money or lack of compromise on the part of the dancers or musicians. However, again, when it works, it is amazing. At least I think so (that’s why I keep doing it).