CONSERVE YOUR ENERGY.
For Luscious Noise This Earth Day.
Come nightfall this Earth Day, the Luscious Noise ensemble featuring San Diego Symphony members will regroup for a program infused with intoxicating classical music emissions, live dance, and multi-media.
To the melancholy recordings of trombone and electric violin by Miles Anderson and Erica Sharp, dancers Denise Dabrowski and Oscar Burciaga will add some live theatrics during a performance of Jean Isaacs’ & Nancy McCaleb’s dark quirky, modern piece “Gurney.”
On harpsichord, soloist Mary Barranger will play Johann Bach’s “Concerto No. 5″ in F minor and “Harpsichord Concerto” Op. 40 by contemporary classical composer Henryck Górecki; during which a short film by double bassist Jory Herman will be presented.
The beat goes on with:
The Busoni Quartet as they perform Puccini’s tribute to the 1892 passing of a member of the Italian Royal Family, “Chrysanthemums.”
Nordic composer Edvard Grieg’s folk melody inspired “Two Norwegian Airs” for strings Op. 63.
Mozart’s “Divertimento” for strings in D Major; composed in 1772 at the age of 16.
This month’s Multi-Media Emulsion features…..
A short film by John Stubbs with music by Enrique Granados and commentary by Sister Wendy Beckett. Subject matter covers the illusive 1656 painting “Las Meninas” by Diego Velázquez – considered one of the most important pieces in Western Art.
The world of Spanish Art Nouveau captured in this fascinating excerpt from Hiroshi Teshigahara’s 1985 documentary “Antonio Gaudi.”
And a scene from John Huston’s 1941 directorial debut and the first motion picture of the film noir genre – “The Maltese Falcon.” Based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel, Humphrey Bogart stars as San Francisco detective Sam Spade.
LUSCIOUS NOISE is a revolutionary experiment in classical music. Conductor John Stubbs wants to prove that Beethoven and Bach can sound as good in a club as in a concert hall. Besides featuring San Diego’s top classical musicians, this multi-media event sometimes features ballet dancers or classic film clips on screen.
Sound Observations with Luscious Noise
Nearly two years ago, classical conductor John Stubbs had a crazy idea: He wanted to take classical music out of the concert halls and see if it could work in a supper club.
The idea was to see if Beethoven or Bach could work as well in a bar as the blues or the Beatles.
He managed to convince many of his friends — who just happened to include many of the area’s finest classical musicians.
The end result is “Luscious Noise,” a bimonthly project that takes place on Sundays at Anthology. The next show is May 15 and will be like a live version of an iPod stuffed with various selections of classical classics instead of a show dedicated to one artist.
It’s not a stuffy show by any means, thanks to modern-day innovations that Mozart would have loved, such as beer and cocktails being served during shows and video vignettes between songs.
But Stubbs thinks it’s really an example of everything old being new again.
“I really saw this as a retro approach,” Stubbs said. “Modern audiences go to a concert and hear the whole concerto, but the programs in the 19th century were more like mine: The orchestra would play a movement, not the whole thing.”
Although Luscious Noise has evolved with each show, most of the changes have been with technical and staging aspects.
“It’s pretty much the same way I envisioned it,” he said. “Except now we have smoother shows.”
There’s another difference in pacing that does reflect the uptempo modern-day, get-it-quickly lifestyle.
“I used to try to get a grand theme for the show, but shifted it about five shows ago,” Stubbs said. “Now it’s more like food — interesting pairings that surprise you.”
Another example might be comparing the new shows to “Revolver,” a Beatles album that features a lot of different songs in different styles that still hold together.
Stubbs agrees. “The older shows were more like ‘Sgt. Pepper,’” he said.
Because Luscious Noise is at Anthology, a club designed to give audiences an intimate view of their favorite artists, Stubbs feels it helps people who otherwise might be intimidated by classical music.
“This is something I learned when we started inviting people to see ballet rehearsals at the studios,” he said. “They got to see the dancers close up and they really saw the sweat and the physicality of their work.”
Stubbs did call in a few favors to get Luscious Noise off the ground, but, since then, he’s earned a fan base of great musicians who want to be a part of the show.
“I always have musicians coming to me with ideas because they want to take part,” he said. “There is a tradition of musicians getting together to perform chamber music at parties. It’s just reading and it’s not a polished performance. There’s a sponteneity that happens when it’s just musicians having a good time.”