Friday, September 19, 2003
Although I think I understand what you are saying, Tim, I don't entirely agree. I will keep this rather short and succint because I am very tired, and hopefully will have the opportunity to elaborate further some time soon. First of all, I'm not sure how you see Vijay Ayer's fabulous, earth shaking composition and performance to be subordinate, suffocated or mere support To Mike Ladd's poetics. Throughout the entire performance I was struck by the strength of Vijay Ayer and Mike Ladd's collaboration. As an audience member, I found at times, the opposite to be true-- that actually if anything, textual language was suffocated and subordinate to the grandiose animal of Vijay Ayer's music. As someone who had never heard any of his compositions, I really enjoyed his music and talent as a composer and plan to hear more of him in the future. It is rare to see such a large scale thorough, thematic collaboration between a musician and a writer/ performer. In the case of Robert Wilson, who often collaborates with musicians, such as Philip Glass, Tom Waits , Lou Reed and William Burroughs, the music is always a sidekick rather than the protagonist. Although I did think during , "In What Language" that the music alone would have been worthy of my time and consciousness, I felt that the energy and strength of their collaborative efforts not only seemed ferocious, but also equal. I also think that what you seem to be describing and asking for is a music festival. By all means this would be a great thing. This however, is a performance festival and I personally think that the scope and borders of performance in this festival have been wide and varied. Music seems to be playing quite a large role in PICA's first TBA festival. I, for one am grateful that such a high caliber of international artists have finally come to Portland. I also think that when Tracie Morris was talking about folksifying, she was talking about the media, museums and in general capitalizing on an idea and subsequently representing them to one's benefit, such as a publisher creating a book in the 1960's of beat writers. With all due respect, I don't think that by presenting world art to Portland we are participating in the folksification of the artists or their art, but rather, creating a more educated audience, a higher bar for local arts and busting open the eyes and minds of portlanders.
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