This last week was nice and cultural, and really really entertaining. The Getty was sponsoring nightly art events all around the city and my friend Raffi and I were determined to make it out to at least one of the shows. On the night we went, there were two offerings, a concert called "Chinese Cocktail" and parking lot art, each at a different venue. Now, we had no idea what would be in store for us at either location, but we just decided to go to the concert since it was more time sensitive, figuring we could swing by the parking garage afterward. Honestly, after being sick and house-bound for so many days, I was ready to venture out and do just about anything.
So, Raffi came to pick me up and, sweet person that he is, brought me candy. I, of course, responded to that gesture by telling him I don't like chocolate. Nice. I mean, who am I? I swear I have a sense of social decorum. I went to etiquette classes when I was little, for god's sake. Not my parents idea, by the by. That was all me. I always liked fancy things, yes I did. Etiquette class. I thought that was real nifty.
But I must seriously wonder where my social skills go sometimes. For someone who is generally quite nice, I can be a little too direct when maybe just a thank you would be appropriate. Ah, well, still learning, young grasshopper.
Anyway, with little to no recovery from that social foul on my part, we moved right along toward our mystery adventure.
The concert was at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, which I've never been to before. I have, however, passed that strange hillside that juts up off the south side of Hollywood Boulevard and wondered what is up there and what in god's name a hill is doing right there smack dab on the street and what this area must have looked like without the city and that the hill would have still been random because there are no other ones near it.
Well, there's a theatre atop that hill, and that is where we went. As for the show. It was sold out. Good sign, for starters. We slid in on the waiting list (thank you, Raffi, for the foresight). Apparently, this concert had originally been performed in 1978 and some of the original musicians, including the composer (artist? lunatic?), were there to perform it for us. Hoorah!
Ok, so, now I could try and really explain the show, but I actually couldn't, because it was pretty inexplicable. There were four parts, perhaps we could call them movements, though a classical comparison is a far reach. The first segment was an illuminated cube accompanied by a succession of varying pitched hums. Yeah, I know, like I said, not really explicable, but I gotta try. The second part consisted of three people hitting different geometrically shaped pieces of metal, and someone else pounding on a box, I think. Not rhythmically. And then I don't remember the fourth segment that well, but I see here in the program that it was called the Black Ball. Oh yeah, I remember that. And, lastly, there were many assorted people making noises with, I think the best term would be, household goods. I mean, there was a vacuum.
Dare I write more? It's kind of funny just like that. Because that's exactly how the show was. Like, errrrr, huh? I will say, at the end, I pulled out my best concert whistle because in the strangest way ever I really loved that show because no matter how perplexed it left me, I was amused to the highest order.
I wasn't quite sure if it was supposed to be funny or if we were supposed to take it seriously or if the musicians thought it was funny or serious. And then, the audience seemed serious about it, except Raffi and I. And I wonder if the composer thinks it's funny that the audience is taking it seriously and that's the big joke and he just rolls with laughter afterwards. Got 'em again! Still as dumb today as they were in ol' '78! I don't know. Raffi and I were sort of giggling and whispering the whole time and I felt like we were watching the Emperor in the parade wearing his new clothes and we were the only ones willing to admit he was naked. But, again, who knows. Who really knows.
And I'm not even one to complain about household goods being used as instruments. I've clanged my fair share of lids and spoons together marching through the kitchen. Tabletops are nice drums. And I laud someone for bringing that concept to the stage, I guess. Do I?
I don't know what was going on, but I can say I give it to the guy for being unafraid to, well, I don't know quite how to put it, but, do something foolish? Maybe? It's good to just let yourself be yourself and run free with an idea, regardless of what it is, I suppose. There was probably a point.
It's funny for me that I will never know what that meant. I hate that. But I love it.
We did manage to swing by the parking garage show after, by the way. It was at the Standard on Sunset. When we got there, most of it had been torn down already, but there was one guy still raking his Japanese rock garden in a parking space, which I thought was cool. And a few other bits of installations that looked pretty interesting. Which is when Raffi and I looked at each other and said, "We picked the wrong show." But, then again, did we?