The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Make Music New York 2018: A Fascinating Event!

Ellen Levitt

Posted on June 23, 2018 22:06

1 user

This is the 12th year of the annual Make Music New York Festival, always held on June 21st. Thousands of musicians performed for thousands more onlookers throughout NYC and elsewhere.

June 21st is the Summer Solstice, and in New York City, it's also Make Music New York. This day-long festival (which also includes musical performances during the next few days) brings together well-known and barely known musicians playing music of many different genres. Some performances featured dozens of participants playing music for hundreds of listeners; others were solo acts in modest sites. 

This is year twelve of MMNY and it has spread to over 700 cities around the world. There is also a Winter Solstice day of music but the summer version is the main attraction. It is an ambitious festival that celebrates all types of music and musicians, provides far-ranging opportunities for people to participate in the musical process, encourages people to sample music they do not ordinarily listen to nor see live, and inspires and surprises New Yorkers and visitors of all ages, socio-economic groups, ethnicities and interests.

The schedule was immense and even overwhelming, with shows huge and tiny throughout the five boroughs of New York. There were special projects including Mass Appeal concerts for banjos, ukuleles, guitars, French horns, harmonicas, mandolins, and bucket drumming; neighborhoods hosted special musical events (Harlem, Long Island City, Astor Place in the East Village); a few site-specific music and sound pieces were created such as one at Inwood Hill Park in upper Manhattan. A mobile recording studio travelled to a few sites and hosted impromptu recording sessions. 

Performances took place in parks and playgrounds, on sidewalks, in libraries and restaurants, on the Gowanus Canal, at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza, at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and elsewhere. At times it seemed like there was non-stop music in many parts of the city.

Every year of MMNY I have made sure to sample one or more performances, and this year I made it to five events: the Mozart Requiem at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza; a classical music concert at St. Paul's Chapel; the Joe's Pub Block Party in the East Village; a quartet playing experimental jazz at the Tompkins Square Library; and a Mass Appeal participatory event in the DUMBO section of northern Brooklyn. I was able to hear classical music, folk music, jazz, and even try my hand at amateur music making.

The Mozart Requiem performance began at noon at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza, and featured dozens of musicians and singers. The rehearsal and performance were incredibly moving and modern, with street and traffic sounds filtering in and out. 

The Webern and Epstein pieces performed by a duet and a quartet at St. Paul's were challenging and fascinating. At the Joe's Pub stage I heard powerful ethnic sounds from the Women's Raga Massive and singer Treya Lam. Quirky jazz and spoken word poetry filled the air at the library, and two women painted as well. I joined about thirty people for bucket drumming and had fun banging along. 

MMNY was enjoyable and thought-provoking, and made the longest day a delight. 

Ellen Levitt

Posted on June 23, 2018 22:06

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: WTSP

Get ready for another festival-- Et Cultura is coming to St. Petersburg November 16 - 20. Organizers say this festival will...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest