When last I wrote, in my introduction, I was about to set off to the concert, pick up my ticket, and go inside.
Located east, across Bristol, from the Southcoast Plaza, it is a simple matter, for anyone without a car, to find an OCTA bus that will drop them off near the venue, but not so simple getting home after attending a perfomance.
This is because there is only 1 bus that runs 24 hours and travels on Bristol.
Depending on where you live in the OC, and the time the performace ends, you may not be able to take all the same busses home that got you there in the first place, and may have to do some walking.
This is not a total disaster, however, since there ARE 3 other lines (None of which goes south of Newport Beach, though!) that run all night, and a few that run as late as Midnight, including 1 into South County all the way to Dana Point.
Arriving at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall I pick up my ticket at the Will-Call window, and head inside.
The lobby is huge, and you can look up to to see 3 more floors, with smaller lobbies, above you, which can be reached by stairs, or elevators.
The main lobby has a refreshment stand, restrooms, a table and display selling items from the Artscenter Store, the nice poster display seen in the photo to the left, and a table selling CD's by the performers of this nights concert.
One of the nice folks on hand to answer questions, and help concertgoers get around, was nice enough to take this photo, and explained to me that picture taking inside the concert was fine before, and after, and during intermission, but not during the performances.
At 7pm there was a Preview Discussion in front of the stage with Joseph Horowitz, Artistic Advisor of the Pacific Symphony and the Composers.
This was my first up close exposure to the Bowed Piano, one of the instruments for which a couple of pieces on the program were made for.
Stephen Scott and his Bowed Piano Ensemble of Colorado College played a tango from his Vikings of the Sunrise and Curt Cacciopo played a piece called Under the Treaty Elm, and this was followed by an enlightening discussion.
The tango was a very short peice, but it was enough for me to realize that this was the sort of piano playing that I was familiar with. ;-D
This LA Times Photo, by Axel Koester, made me laugh, when I first saw it, because the first thing that popped into my head was "Where's a Traffic Cop when you need one?"
To say that seeing a Bowed Piano in action for the first time was quite startling, is a major understatement.
There is the piano, without its lid, and with a group of people standing around it.
Above, there is a screen so you can see the musicians in action.
At first the music sounded odd and disjointed to me, and seeing these men and women ernestly bent over the piano, and occasionally changing places, or stepping away from it entirely, somewhat amusing.
As I watched the screen, seeing their hands touching this, pulling that, plucking something else, I became absorbed by the sounds they were creating.
I found myself not listening to a single piano in the traditional sense, but seemingly to several different instruments playing together.
It was a communal performance in very tight quarters that produces the sounds and moods of a small orchestra.
By contrast, when Curt Cacciopo played his piece on a regular piano I was struck by how ordinary it seemed.
It was a quite beautiful little piece, don't get me wrong, it was just that sitting there, and watching a single person play an instrument I just saw 10 perform on, and produce so much more in the way of sound in doing so, seemed just a tad "old fashioned".
Lou Harrision discused his compositions, briefly, as did the others, but I was too immersed in writing my thoughts on what I'd just heard to remember anything they said. ;-D
With the preview over I went in search of my seat for the performance.
The Hall is HUGE!
There are 4 floors, or circles and, to be honest, I love the views from the Second, Third, and Fourth floors (And the raised seating on either side of the first floor.), except for maybe from above, and behind the orchestra.
Looking around me, at my fellow concert goers, as I walked around, attended the preview, then found my seat, I was struck not just by all the fancy clothes, and the occasional display of jewelry, but by all the older folks I saw, by far the majority of those in attendance.
As the evening progressed I took a closer look around and discovered that not only were there a lot of people in their 30's and 40's, beside myself (Age 48 next month!), but some younger, including children.
Like me, there were even many folks dressed less ostentatiously, and I even noticed that not everyone was caucasian.