First impressions are coming back from the 10 artists who attended the October 10 concert at NJPAC. Something that seems to echo here is what, if any, prior relationship to we have to this kind of music, and the fact that the context of experiencing it- architectural, socioeconomic, etc- can’t be separated from the artform. Or can it?
Below are some first takes, much more to come
“My experience was ASTOUNDING….It was my first time attending an orchestra and it felt as if I was in a different world. I remember walking into NJPAC I sashayed through a sea of black tuxedos and ball gowns wearing my african head wrap with african tribal prints painted on my face..The music enveloped me into a motion of total unawareness filled with lavender, orange, yellow, crimson red and paynes grey. I was completely inspired to work on possible glass, wire and wood. I am really excited about being a part of this project..” -Sophia Domeville
“The NJSO may have been my first orchestral concert as an adult.. its been so long I can’t remember. I played the violin in the school orchestra throughout my public school years. Although violin was never my calling.. it all came back to me as the concert started. There is something about the swelling music and the bowing patterns – I always loved the function of the bow – it’s strange how seeing music happen can make you so emotional sometimes. The subtle movements that create such an intense sounds can be so beautiful. I am excited to see what we will hear next.” – Amanda Thackray
“The show was great, I loved the sounds of the orchestra, and the feeling of listening to the music.I heard music that I had encountered in films that were often used for heightend drama, but I could never pinpoint until now. I come from a particularly different standpoint than some people may come from when I say that this was an unusual experience for me. I was not raised in an environment that taught much about symphonies and orchestras. I grew up in an urban area (Orange, East Orange) and we were not exposed to things as such. This experience was tough for me for many reasons. Two things I was confronted by were complex issues of race and class structure. I found it interesting the wardrobe worn to the symphony, the seating arrangements (who sat up front, on the sides.etc) and the race of people who viewed the performance and performed…” – Vaugnn Spann
“NJSO Opening Night reminded me of my first symphony experience, sometime around 1965/66, Lincoln Center in the brand new Philharmonic Hall, now Avery Fischer Hall. I was eight or nine years old and many of the details are sketchy. It was one of our girl’s day outings, my mother, my sister and me in our Sunday best for a Saturday afternoon performance.
What does remain fresh in my mind is that feeling of anticipating something of great magnitude, everything was enormous, the size of the theater, the number of people attending, the size of a symphony orchestra…..
The hush that hovers in the air as the conductor raises the baton and the first note is struck, my heart is pounding as I reminisce. ” – Adrienne Wheeler