The LA Phil will have a pretty cool concert coming up on Saturday, January 12th, at 10am, as part of their Brooklyn Festival. In a press release for the concert they write:
“With the West Coast premiere of Planetarium, The National’s Bryce Dessner, singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens, and composer Nico Muhly come together to consider the cosmos. For the first half, a string quartet performs each artist’s classically informed compositions. In the second half, Stevens’ voice anchors a planet-by-planet song cycle that melds the collaborators’ distinct creative contributions into a harmonic whole. The cycle unfolds against the backdrop of a giant orb that morphs to reflect the characteristics of the sphere being celebrated.”
After viewing their video I was reminded of what Gustav Holst did for his seven-movement orchestral suite. It’s funny how perceptions can change over time and what people are able to create musically, with the help of technology. I think this is a great idea for continued innovation for the orchestral world. Not only is the performance interactive, but he is still using traditional instruments as well. I love the idea of the giant orb (Also, props for writing for 7 trombones).
Check out the differences in the Planet Jupiter. First is Holst’s, written between 1914 and 1916. A performance by James Levine and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Next, is the the Jupiter from Planetarium. It is performed in the Sydney Opera House.
You can watch the whole Planetarium performance here on YouTube.