Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 11:45:12 -0700
From: Mike McCurdy
Subject: Thank you
Thank you. I attended last night's concert in SF and was almost brought to tears. The performance was amazing: the energy of the musicians, the 'on the edge' quality of the whole piece, MTT almost losing his headphones. So enjoyable. Two aspects of the project were most emotional for me:
First: after almost 75 years, a man's vision was finally realized. Just the thought of this is beautiful. To my knowledge no situation like this exists or has existed. Where in human history has a work of any kind been conceived with the knowledge that it might never be realized? I suppose various drawings and outlines of Leonardo da Vinci's like that of human flight; but even then those weren't exact plans for an airplane that couldn't be built for 400 years! This would be like if Einstein had developed a solid theory that totally explained the nature of reality and the cosmos knowing that people (even scientists) might never be able to conceive of it -- or at least not until long after his death. The bringing of this work to life was very emotional.
Second: the reaction of the audience. How beautiful is it that finally something of this complexity can be appreciated!?!?! The image of every person in that hall, on their feet, bringing you guys back out I think it was five times, is almost overwhelming. I guess I'm sappy like that, but to me that is amazing.
So thank you for the unimaginable work and energy and dedication you put into this project. I will remember this forever.
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 13:55:43 -0700
From: Martha Baer
Subject: San Francisco!
Paul, congrats on the incredible reception last night. We at Wired loved the whole concert!
Martha Baer is a senior contributing writer at Wired, and former managing editor. She commissioned the article on the Ballet mécanique that appeared in the magazine in November, 1999.
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 21:19:59 -0700
From: Richard Grayson
Subject: San Francisco, Sunday
Congratulations, Paul on another major success with Antheil's Ballet Mécanique. I was enchanted with the whole concert and overwhelmed by the Ballet. Unlike Durgin Hall, Davies is very live, and the pristine modernity served it very well. MTT and the players appeared to have the piece down cold. Any small glitches, such as the "dead disklavier" in no way reduced the potency of the experience. In a way it was a reminder of how cu tting edge it is, still just on the edge of possibility.
Nice to see you again, even if for only a few moments. I appreciate your verbal acknowledgement during the question and answer session after the program.
All the best,
Composer Richard Grayson's music for player pianos and electronics was featured at the concert in Lowell, Massachusetts, where the Ballet mécanique premiered, and two of his pieces are on the CD from that concert.
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 21:37:00 EDT
From: Nina Berg
Subject: "Ballet Mecanique" last night at the SF Symphony
Last night my friend Peter and I had the pleasure of hearing the "Ballet Mecanique" and we were really thrilled! The whole programme was excellent and this was the first time we had heard the works of George Antheil despite having read his name in various books for years. When we return to the SF Symphony this Thursday, I am definitely buying the "Ballet Mecanique" CD! Peter and I thought the composition was wonderful and I couldn't stop raving about it at work today. The 16 Disklavier player pianos were thrilling to hear and watch. Thanks again!
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 23:27:31 -0700
From: Chris Muir
Paul, I loved Ballet Mechanique last night [at Davies Hall, San Francisco]! I've always loved that piece, and experiencing it live was really terrific. I wanted to come up and say hello, but you seemed pretty swamped. So other than the piano that melted down, and maybe a stuck note on a bell or airplane, what were the glitches? What is the click track like? Thanks for all your work on this.
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 16:03:44 -0700
From: Greg Brown
Subject: Antheil concert recording
I've just today received my copy of your "Ballet Mecanique" CD, and everything on there is GREAT! (Including of course, the premiere title track which I've been eagerly awaiting since your netcast last fall.) Pioneers are disappointingly rare in recent history. Antheil was one, for sure, but as we look at the past fifty years and then into the new millenium, it's increasingly tough to identify many real pioneers to lead us into the future.
You, Paul, are certainly one of those select few, and for that at least one admirer thanks you. MAN, it's hard to break from the pack and follow one's vision! Thanks for providing inspiration along with discovery; I look forward to tracking your future path and ongoing musical adventures.
Contributing Editor, "Flight Training" magazine.
Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 19:43:54 -0700
From: Curt Hopkins
Subject: Es lebt der Pank Rock!
What a picture I was -- like Satan himself, a grimacing hairbag in a dirty shirt and basketball shorts, blinking the cigarette smoke out of my corpse-lit eyes, pulling into the local yuppie supermarket with the sound of a burning piano factory screeching out the wing-windows of my rolling toilet of a car.
Well, one thing's certain: the CD has better sound than the tinny little speakers of my Gizmotron 5000.
PS The picture I had of you as Russell Crowe in The Insider was effectively terminated with the arrival of the liner notes.
Curt reviewed the November 18, 1999 Webcast from Lowell for the San Francisco Bay Guardian
Ballet Mec CD
Paul, I just received the Ballet Mecanique disk and having just listened to it I am once again energized by the power of the music. It appears the performance has legs as it continues to stretch across the nation. Congratulations. I am sure you are pleased. A lot of hard work has paid off. I wish you my very best and thanks for the disk. Wish I could be in Berkeley with you. That's my kind of city.
Keith teaches video production at UMass Lowell and helped videotape the concert in November.
Date: Wed, May 10 19:54:29 2000
From: Richard Brundage
Paul, Thanks so much for the CD. Spectacular.
Richard Brundage is an editor at G. Schirmer, publishers of the Ballet Mécanique.
Date: 19 Nov 99 08:31:53 -0500
From: Clif Garboden
Subject: George would be proud
Paul - Congrats to you all who sailed with you on last night's production. As we were dodging trucks up 495 on the way to Lowell, that little voice that plays music in my head was (for some reason) infected with the song "Fernando" ("There's something in your hair tonight/The car turned right/ Fernando . . ." -- guess I never actually listened to the lyrics); I complained, and Susannah comforted me with the possibility that after the concert I wouldn't be able to remember any music I already knew anyway.
The good news is that the concert did displace "Fernando" with high dispatch, but didn't clear my musical memory as feared. Actually, I'm not sure if it's a sign of high or low sophistication, but I didn't find "Ballet Mcanique" anywhere near as incomprehensible as I'd expected. George actually knew what he was doing -- just perhaps not why. Thanks much for the balcony seats; I think the "BM" was easier to appreciate/comprehend because I could actually see the parts interact. It's really a very visual work that way. Don't know if you ever got a chance to watch from above - I recommend it. (And think you should start raising funding for a one-camera short film.)
As for the opening numbers, pass along heartfelt praise to the student percussionists; I want to write rock lyrics to the Roldan pieces and take the act into the clubs. And your Mendelssohn was an inspired use of that peculiar stage set-up. Loved it; it was also one of Susannah's father's favorite pieces and she was thrilled to hear it. (Praise all around from the wife as well.)
You did a great job; and trust me, it was worth it; I wanted to come backstage and meet the pianos ("I'm with the band") but figured you might be too preoccupied to socialize. Let's get together soon; I want to hear all the background stories. Hope you didn't have to stay up all night unplugging Disklaviers. - clif
Clif is senior managing editor of the Boston Phoenixalthough not a reviewerand an old friend of Paul's
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 23:46:52 -0800
From: Kenn Rabin
Subject: That was SOOO Cool . . .
Paul, what a wonderful performance and what a wonderful set of opening remarks. You really brought the piece alive with your speech, and neatly presented the highlights of the WIRED article in an entertaining way -- it was a great setup for the performance. I cannot congratulate you enough or adequately say what an accomplishment this represents.
I think this was one of a handful of the most significant artistic events to end the century. As a commentary on the industrial era that has so dominated human history and fundamentally changed human beings for the last 200 years, Ballet Mechanique as it was originally conceived is a fitting past-meets-future way to say goodbye to the 20th Century (which of course doesn't REALLY end for another year, but who's counting?) and hello to the 21st. It was way cool, incredibly stirring, reminded me of the old days with Joel Chadabe and learning what music had in store in the coming years. Sorry I couldn't see it -- I would have been quite interested in trying to determine what was being played by the live pianists versus the player pianos, but it came over pretty damn well on the Net. Only wish I'd had the hookups to tape it (although there was some sound interference, a little hum and buzz throughout -- not a problem through most of the music, though). Hope you got a good tape, and also hope someone smart videotaped it.
It seemed VERY different than what I remember of the short version which I heard in college, and I hope this or one of the other performances (especially if they DO use the 16 pianos) will be issued on CD. Or CD-ROM/DVD, which would actually be a very good medium for this, considering the backup materials that could appear along with the piece. Next project, perhaps?
When you get a moment, let me know how you felt the performance went, and exactly what top blood pressure and heart rate you ultimately attained. It must have been scary just starting everything, having the conductor give the downbeat. From then on, it's really out of your hands, and everything will run or not, sort of like technological free-fall. The sync seemed pretty damn good, entire moods changed in a millisecond, and my heart was thumping in my chest (I was listening on headphones).
Proud of you, man. Hope you're happy with what you did -- it was an accomplishment. George was smiling down on you, I'm sure. You made a dead man very happy, and a lot of live folks too. I pictured you having a bang-up celebration afterward.
With admiration and affection,
Kenn is a film archivist in San Francisco, and another old friend of PaulĠs
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 00:51:29 -0500
From: Tod Machover
Organization: The MIT Media Laboratory
Congratulations on a job well done, and a very successful evening. Sorry I had to run out right at the end of the concert, but I've got to catch the 6:30 am shuttle to NYC tomorrow morning, and it was not a short concert...... Anyway, it was exciting to see your vision come to fruition, and great to hear the Antheil. One crazy piece, in fact. I'd love to chat about it all once you've come down from cloud nine.
Enjoy your success, get some rest, and let's talk.
Tod Machover is the head of the "Opera of the Future" department at the MIT Media Lab and composer of "Valis", "Brain Opera", and other major works using computers.
Date: Fri Nov 19 08:29:33 1999
Subject: Wow That was quite a ruckus last night.
Glad I was able to get in after all. You're to be complimented on the Herculean efforts required to put the sequences together and get the whole thing on the boards. Jeff did a great job conducting, too. May have been the loudest music I ever heard. What a crazy musical time it was between the wars. I don't know if you know Yehudi Wyner or not (very good composer). He was there last night, largely because his own father had been at an earlier premiere of the piece. Anyway, thanks again. Although my own favorite music was the Nancarrow (the Mendelssohn was fun too), I'm truly glad for the opportunity to hear the Antheil in its full, overwhelming glory.
PS I live in Arlington, so I'd have known the siren anywhere...
Michael is a composer and friend of Lowell conductor Jeff Fisher's, currently working for Lexicon
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 17:18:27 -0500
From: Leon Janikian
Paul, I wanted to let you know what a wonderful concert you "put on" Thursday. I was thrilled to be there, everything (it seemed) went off flawlessly, your piece, introductions, and presentation were witty, informative, and... You were great! Congratulations.
LeonLeon is a professor of music at Northeastern University and a former faculty member at UMass Lowell
Hi Paul, I just had to write and tell you how much I enjoyed the Morning Edition story about your wild composing project. I was fumbling around getting ready for work and there was an old friend on the radio. I remember many years ago when [company president] Kusek told me I should get Terry Gross to interview you about your Celtic Macintosh project. Her producer blew me off immediately.
I'm the communications and music director for "Four Corners Public Radio" on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation just outside of Durango, CO. I've been there for the last 7 years and love it all for the most part. Every once in a while I run into an old midiot at a music or pubradio conference.
Congrats on your project and the wonderful news story. Carnegie Hall...yeehaa!
Stasia is the former marketing director for Passport Designs
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 11:33:28 -0500
From: william skon
Subject: Great Concert!
Paul, Here's another challenge for you. Start thinking about a 2024 anniversary concert. By then you might be able to send the entire ensemble (vintage player pianos and all) into orbit, rent out a space station for the night and make "Ballet Mecanique" the very first work performed at zero gravity. I think Antheil would approve. Kidding aside, I enjoyed the concert and I'm really, really impressed with the work you and everyone else did to make it happen. Now I feel motivated to go back and finish reading your book.
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 1999 11:44:00 -0500
From: George Boziwick
So I was drinking a beer and eating a bag of pretzels while listening to the webcast the other night and I'll tell you it was really great! It's a very different piece and very evocative of the time. It really evokes the machine age consciousness, Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times, and all that.
While it is a shame that Antheil could not hear it I want to commend you on what I know is a real triumph.
ps. The article in Wired is great. I noticed in the picture that you seem to be seated next to a Kurzweill keyboard. I just bought a K2000 and it is really something. So far it inputs my music and plays it back beautifully. Now I just have to figure out how the rest of it works. I am going through your book "Midi for the professional" and slowly things are becoming clear.
pps. My kids love the K2000 and have been making home videos and using the Kurzweil sound effects. Again, congratulations on a great project.
George is head music research librarian at the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 08:40:19 -0500
From: Vince Fumo
Subject: The Show
Congratulations on your successful performance in Lowell. After reading the Wired article, my girlfriend and I decided that we wanted to hear the performance so we sent away for tickets and drove up to Lowell for the show from Philadelphia. After 6 1/2 hours (traffic jams in NY and Conn.) we arrived at the University and parked..just 20 minutes before 8pm :)
Anyway, we both really enjoyed the performance and had a wonderful time. We have two questions. First, will you be releasing any recordings of the performance? I was thinking that a CD of the performance could sell quite well. Also, it would be a shame to have heard the performance and to never have a chance to hear it again. Second, at the show, you mentioned donations, can you tell me where and how we can donate? We didn't see anything in the program.
Click here for information about the CD
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 1999 09:12:04 -0700
From: Greg Brown
Congratulations on an incredible performance!!! We absorbed it spellbound. You have lots to be proud of!
Sincerely, Greg, Jean and Austin Brown
Fountain Hills, AZ
PS: We may go to SFO to hear the June live performance... I assume details on where, when and how to order tickets will be posted on your site when available.
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 18:02:49 PST
From: "Jeff Springer"
Subject: Re: Ballet mecanique
Paul- Congratulations on a very successful webcast! Your introduction was both informative and entertaining... the music was amazing... thanks for everything!
I really enjoyed your article in Wired magazine. Simply fascinating! Is there anywhere I can buy your version of it? Did you do a recording of the performance for distribution? Or can I just get a copy oh buddy oh pal? Pretty please? I am a filmmaker and I am dying to incorporate Ballet mecanique in some possible way... soundtrack, conceptually, perhaps a documentary....? Anyhow... it is a fantastic article and a fantastic story. Thanks very much for your help and your inspiring article!
Good luck with the project... I will catch it when it comes to San Francisco!
Jeff is a filmmaker in San Francisco
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 1999 05:41:00 +0000
Subject: It sounded like it really worked!
Congratulations. Hearing your realization made us wish we could have attended. Just one question (which by now you've probably heard a thousand times): will there ever be a chance to obtain an improved quality .ra or .wav file or even CD of this tremendous event?
Despite the Webcast's considerable noise interference and distortions at 28 kps here we were glued to the speakers for the length of the piece and soon forgot about these shortcomings. Thanks for an in all other respects totally enjoyable and uplifting 60 min. or so and best wishes.
Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 20:06:11 -0800
From: Country Joe McDonald
Subject: Re: Ballet Mecanique
Paul Lehrman wrote:
> I'm going over the ticket lists for the recent Ballet Mecanique
> concert in Lowell, Mass, and there's your name. Did you actually make the concert?
> I'd be really interested to hear what you thought about it. We certainly had a lot
> of fun putting it on.
what a delight and pleasant surprise to hear from you. well yes i did order the tickets after i read a story in wired mag re the history behind the concert and then found bad boy of music in half price books the next day and looked up the web site and had this fantasy of the family going to the concert my wifes family is is Carlise soooooooo
we did not go to the concert but i did listen to the concert and a friend in detroit recorded it digitally from the web he has a on lin station called honey radio that can stream 2,000 i asked my mother in law to tune in the radio and record it but she couldnt find the station then you didnt go on line until right exactly at the announced time so i sat by the computer waiting for that dead time but decided to record it live and set a stereo mic up in front of the computer and ext speakers and recorded the whole thing with all the drop outs and hisses and echo repeats and of course the piece itself. anthiel would have loved seeing me do that.
what can i say mecanique was manifique cant imagine what it was like in person. surely you did video and audio will you realease something. i was dissapointed in the intro having just read anthiels book but the stories and also magnificent! a big big congratulations on this one it is really amazing what people can do today
i am sad that i didnt attend but from berkeley it is a long trip but i have saved the tickets as momentoes of the evening which cyberly speaking i had a very good time experiencing.. web cast! what a concept!
cheers, cjm -- "Ira Furor Brevis Est "
Anger is a brief madness country joe Home Pg country joe's tribute to Florence Nightingale Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial Rag Baby Online Magazine
Country Joe McDonald is a living legend to many of us of the Woodstock generation
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 20:03:14 -0800
From: Mark Baratta
Subject: Ballet Mecanique
congratulations! What a great piece! What a fabulous performance! Thanks so much for going to all the trouble to make this happen. If you have plans for releasing a CD, I'd sure appreciate a pointer to any information as it becomes available.
With best regards,
Mark Baratta - Lighting Design, Seattle, WA
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 19:58:29 -0800 (PST)
From: Boss Charlie
Professor; I wanted to email you immediately after the webcast of the Ballet Mechanique. I wanted to say that you and all associated did a magnificent job. I feel quite fortunate that I stumbled onto the Wired article at just the right time, and happened to see the broadcast was tonight. It was amazing. I hope that you have also recorded it for release and am eagerly awaiting to receive your confirmation of this. I'd love to hear it on a real stereo (since I won't likely get to see it performed as a full ensemble). Once again, wonderful work. You should be proud.
Dan Schlissel, owner - ismist Recordings
Date: 23 Nov 99 23:08:37 EST
From: Bob Raiselis
Subject: Ballet Mcanique
Mr. Lehrman- Congratulations on an award-winning production (well, it should win some kind of award). I needn't tell you how great it was to see 16 mechanical pianos on the stage in Lowell, and to hear all of the assorted grand music (not the least of which was your transcription). I'm sorry the time didn't allow all of the Nancarrow pieces to be performed, but, who am I kidding? I was very happy to be there for the rest of the program.
One comment on the Ballet Mcanique, from the point of view not of a musicologist, but a tinkerer. A mechanical siren would have sounded exactly as your taped version; slow rise, hold the pitch, slow fall. Hearing the propellers was confusing; had they been mechanical, their pitch too would have risen and then fallen. As it was, it sounded as through the recording cut in and then cut out; for a while I thought that the sound was of a muffled buzzer on the bell box, so sudden was the on and off. Perhaps I'm way off base, but it seems that the electronic substitute should have as many of the characteristics of the mechanical original as possible.
This is a minor point; it was as remarkable a concert as I've ever been to, and I thank you for your inspired work and dedication.
Bob Raiselis (I drove down from Vermont for the concert)
Date: 01 Dec 99 08:41:02 +0000
From: Mike Verrette
Subject: A lot of notes . . .
Just wanted to drop you a line letting you know I enjoyed the concert a few weeks back. Unfortunately I had to take off right after the show so I wasn't able to offer my congratulations. Your introduction to the piece was great - Im sure it made people appreciate much more what they were about to hear. That must have been one hell of a sequence when it was done - Id love to see it some time. The irony of the computer controlled acoustic instruments and human controlled computer instruments was humorous.
The piece must have gotten a lot of good press because I was talking to a friend of mine from Salt Lake City and he asked me If I had heard of "some guy on the east coast arranging this piece for 16 player pianos and some airplanes." I told him I thought I knew who he was talking about.
At any rate I just wanted to say "nicely done". Im still putting all of your teachings to work for the Troupe in Windham. Ive been composing and creating "aural occurrences" for them since graduation. Cant tell you how many times all of those hours in 205 have paid off over the years.
Have a great holiday
Mike is a sound designer and composer and a graduate of UMass Lowell's program in Sound Recording Technology
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 05:05:13 +0100
From: Charles Amirkhanian
Bellagio, Italy, 11-19-99
5:00am here and I'm ecstatic about the work you've done to bring to life Antheil's original Ballet Mcanique. The Webcast came through loud and clear here in Bellagio and I enjoyed every minute-even the long pauses before the lecture aired. Thank God I was hearing it in Real Player 2 and not QuickTime 4.03, which broadcasts gaps just like the 3rd movement (but every two seconds).
The lecture was terrific; wish I could have seen what I imagined were slides being projected. And the performance was raucus and splendid. From this vantagepoint it was impossible to get any sense of scale or relative volumes of the instruments since I was listening to a radio mix, but I gather the precision and loudness was thrilling. I would hope in future to bring some of the melody lines into more prominent relief, especially in the beginning where the sirens and propellers seem to obscure the piano parts; also in other sections where a pedestrian ostinato seems to drown out a moving melody line in another part.
The tempo at 100 (or whatever you used throughout most of the work) seems to take some of the fun away but must have been necessary. Let me know what your problems were with this-was it that some of the live musicians couldn't keep up or that the MIDI parts didn't "sound" at a higher speed? You told me about this but I don't remember what you said.
Who is the group chickening out w/ the four pianos? Not the SF Sym I hope! I pray it's the ACO. I haven't heard anything from Gregg Gleasner at SF Symphony and neither has Carl Stone who is my replacement at Other Minds this year.
ONCE AGAIN, CONGRATULATIONS ON A MAGNIFICENT AND CLASSY JOB. IT WAS A THRILL TO HEAR YOU AND THE MUSICIANS DOING BATTLE WITH THIS BEHEMOTH!
Charles is the executor of the Antheil Estate and a great resource for the project. HereĠs a follow-up letter:
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 15:11:49 +0100
From: Charles Amirkhanian
Subject: Recording session
Bravo again, and thanks for your letter. Am ecstatic that you're doing a recording session formally. I must say, you've done the most complete, Antheilian job of promotion and production imaginable. It occurred to me today that without all the attendant publicity, this would have been a non-event. Your coverage of every aspect of the presentation and production is admirable.
The NPR piece was great with the exception of the butchering of Jeffrey "Fischman." The web site of WGBH had me panicked last night because they didn't put up the paragraph about signing on with RealPlayer until 6 hrs before the event and then at 9:15pm your time there was a guy just beginning an interview with a jazz artist with no hint that there would be anything interrupting him for another half hour. But around 9:20 I think, the recorded (I think) announcements came on and it all started to come together. It's a miracle I was not bumped off the server for 2 hrs and 20 mins while it all was aired. Your web site was very helpful and I discovered the printed program just in time to see why you would have been running later than 9:15pm. No way you could play all that stuff so quickly and be ready for the talk at 9:15pm.
I'll go listen again to the tape, which is quite "limited" because of the bandwidth probably, and see if I can come up with anything else. I almost think it'd be good to take the parts you CAN take fast at a more sprightly tempo and then go slower at the difficult part, but you can't do that at this late hour with the musicians. Whew, I regret not being in the hall. That must have been the blowout to end all blowouts.
I remember Frank Zappa lamenting the fact that classical music labeled fffff was never as loud as his five-piece rock band. Well, Frank, you hadda be there!
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 15:39:06 -0500
From: Bing Broderick
Paul, just wanted to say thanks very much for getting me tickets for the show last Thursday. Ed & I enjoyed it thoroughly, as did the two guys we brought along. So, in fact did the two folks who went at my recommendations. It was a very enjoyable evening - of the other material, I especially enjoyed the Cage/Harrison piece.
So nice to see a full house for a concert like that! And a house peppered with celebrities such as Roger Miller of Mission of Burma and Glenn Jones of Cul de Sac. It must be a relief for it to be over, but I hope that you feel a great sense of accomplishment.
All the best,
Bing is a producer and marketing coordinator for Rounder Records
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 11:44:31 -0400
From: Charlestown Working Theater
Subject: Hooray!! Hooray!!
Last night's performance was spectacular! The percussion ensembles' and your own obvious delight, created an atmosphere I have never experienced around a concerted music performance. It may be hard to say righteous, but everything last night, history, individual passion, solid group work all came together to create a righteous event.
John is technical director of the Charlestown Working Theatre
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 09:58:54 -0500
From: "Jason Calieri"
Subject: Ballet Mecanique performance
Just wanted to congratulate you on the outstanding performance of Ballet Mecanique last night. It was the first time I'd heard Antheil's work, but I'd been waiting for the performance for awhile. I couldn't make it to UMass, so I tuned in via the web - not the best sound quality, but the message got through. Do you know if there are any plans to release this concert on CD? I'd love to hear it at CD-quality levels (again and again).
National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 22:48:23 -0600
Subject: Congratulations on the Concert
Shooshie here, your fellow MIDI/Disklavier director. I listened to much of the concert here - there were some interruptions in my streaming Quicktime link here, but my guess is that things went as planned throughout the concert. I was impressed with the sonic scale, but only because I'm able to hear beyond the microphones. As one who has been into the studio countless times with five pianos, I know that miking five is nearly impossible - the ensemble you were broadcasting just doesn't fit into any known medium except a live hall. Still, I could hear wonderful things happening.
Wow! What a work! George was a strange fellow for his time! I'm thrilled to have heard it. Of course, even knowing pretty much what to expect, I find Antheil's work lacking in comparison to a Stockhausen or Varese. Not being present I don't want to attempt to judge it - perhaps the scale IS the piece. That would have been an incredible sound for 1924 or any time.
But we're not discussing aesthetics here; this was a historical performance, and you put in the enormous time and energy to make it work. Had I known, I would have been happy to consult with you and save you hours of time with the quirks of Disklaviers (half-second delay, inability to shift parts in MIDI software where there is a tempo change... and many other things). But you obviously overcame all those things on your own, and your work stands as a reference in history, a work you should be proud of. I know the effort that went into that, Paul, as few people do.
On top of the sheer labor and creative energy that goes into realizing a performance of this magnitude in MIDI, you also got sponsorship, promotion, webcast, radio broadcast, secured a hall, sold out tickets, did the website and press... Geez! As they say in the schools... "you da MAN!" I hope you had a staff.
Congratulations on a job well done and a recording that will be listened to forever. Whew! Once you've got the stage struck, I hope you can get some sleep!
Date: 18 Nov 1999 23:15:54 -0500
From: "Robert Lyons"
Subject: very very cool
Great talk, great performance. Webcast went swell. Serious debrief when I have the metrix. Talk to you when you've recovered-- bl
Bob Lyons produced the Webcast on WGBH.org/radio
Who's Paul Lehrman, anyway?
Copyright © 2004 by Paul D. Lehrman. All rights reserved