Thursday, June 30, 2011

I attended a live radio broadcast at the WNYC Greene Space

Never Done: I attended a live radio broadcast at the WNYC Greene Space

It was the 100th birthday of Bernard Herrmann, the iconic film composer whose career started with Citizen Kane and ended with Taxi Driver, and the WNYC Greene Space curated a panel with conductor John Mauceri, Bernard's daughter the writer Dorothy Herrmann, film director Josh Waletzky, composer Rob Schwimmer, and film composer Michael Giacchino -- for a celebratory panel discussion, with film clips and piano and theramin demonstrations. (Josh was on the panel because he made a documentary film about Bernard Herrmann, called Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann.)

Isn't it great that there's a sound-proof room where 80 people will gather to listen to five people tell stories about one great artist? And that this is happening, in different ways, all over the world at the same time? By that I mean that while we were gathering to pay homage to the greatest film composer of all times, it seems likely that somewhere in the world people gathered to hear a Tibetan Buddhist meditation master, and somewhere else a horticulturalist, and a criminologist, and a puppet master. We go through portals into spaces where we get to let go of our daily mundanity and drop into the quirky or the sublime. We are called together through brochures, websites, and word of mouth -- and we form transitory armies of common interest -- stitched together for an evening or a year, deepened, expanded, and ever-changed by the live performance of a theramin.

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