Friday, July 22, 2016

Composition 20- Naama Tsabar

Photo: © S. Banos

I was in Manhattan's former Meat Packing District (one of the most gentrified areas imaginable) during the magic hour one late Spring day, when I heard this loud "ambient" music coming from... seemingly everywhere. It was "atmospheric" yet edgy, and I was immediately drawn to it (unlike so much of music today)- so I set about trying to discover its source. Eventually, I realized it had to be originating at The Highline, and so it was. With Composition 20, what one eventually realized was that Naama Tsabar had devised an open environment in which one could travel directly within an ever changing musical landscape, as opposed to a single wall of sound aimed directly at you. 

The tiny snippet below of the entire 3 hr experience is more "traditionally" melodic than the portion I stumbled upon. But it was quite the experience walking in between the musicians, walking in between the music, as it incrementally changed from corner to corner, side to side, musician to musician, as one traversed the entirety of the area- the "back" side playing a considerably different tune from the "front," while the more harmonizing midground somehow balancing both. One of the more memorable, interactive and public musical/art experiences I'll remember in my hometown...

PS- Hopefully, there will be a high quality recording of the event available in the near future... but it just occurred to me- how would it be mixed? Since several melodies were being played concurrently, which one anyone heard at any one time depended on where they were situated...

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