Sunday, July 19, 2009
I'm just back from a short trip to London. Pleasure, no business, and tourism pure were the orders of the days. I heard a concert in the Music We'd Like to Hear series, a perfect example of composerly initiative, self-reliance, and the pooling of resources, in which three composers — John Lely, Tim Parkinson, and my friend Markus Trunk (all roughly on the experimental side of the new music community) — each program an evening of music. I happened to be in town for the third and final even in this year's program, John Lely's evening, which was a portrait of Tom Johnson. It was great to see and hear Tom and his music again (Formulas for String Quartet, in particular, should be taken up by more groups) and also to hear a work of Lely's, The Parson's Code for Melodic Contours, which was a charming (and, in its way, post-Johnsonian) demonstration of the complexity of a simple melodic curve when projected simultaneously onto multiple pitch metrics. The other highlights of London this trip were a reading by China Mieville, some decent Jamaican food, a Punch and Judy show, a lot of pretty pictures in galleries unafraid of wallpaper, As You Like It in the Globe, and just enough rain to remind one that Britain is a good place to visit. And visit briefly.