Review of Wayne Horvitz’s 55: Music and Dance in Concrete

South Seattle Emerald

by Mary Hubert

concrete2Disjointed electronic music wafting out of large speakers on a crowded stage fills the air of the tiny Royal Room in Columbia City. The small venue is filled with patrons who all crane their necks to see three beautiful young women, moving in synchrony and doing… something… that I can’t quite see. They finish their bit and begin to walk with measured steps behind the stage.

All of a sudden, the conductor, a middle-aged roundish man with glasses and a hat, jerks imperiously toward the trumpet, soprano sax, and trombone in quick succession, 1, 2, 3! The air is suddenly alive with sound. Master musicians play over the computer’s soundtrack as the conductor (and now, I realize, the composer as well) commands them to play when and how he wants, all the while selecting tracks on the laptop in front of him. He raises and lowers his…

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