1/15/09

Titanium Tetrachloride

As if things weren’t already tempestuous in Oakland, Cheryl North, too, had to get in on the action:

The Oakland East Bay Symphony's upcoming concert, dubbed by its organizers "A Global Celebration," almost can serve as a metaphor for our national identity, as exemplified in the motto E pluribus unum.

“In the motto,” “by the motto.” Let’s call this whole mess, well, off. Shall we?

How can the concert almost serve as a metaphor? It’s either symbolic of national identity or not. Can something be almost symbolic? BART officer one: “Wait. We shouldn’t shoot unarmed people.”

BART officer two: “Don’t worry. It’s only almost a metaphor for unnecessary force.”

What really makes my skin crawl is, perhaps, that Cheryl knew her attempt at a metaphor was flawed, decided to leave it in anyway, but made sure to hedge a little bit.

I mean, here’s the concert lineup: Copland’s Appalachian Spring, a newly commissioned Cello Concerto by Nolan Gasser, and the totally non-global Third Symphony by Brahms. Is that not the picture of standard orchestral fair?

To their credit, Gasser’s work utilizes three unusual instruments:











Fig. 1. Erhu









Fig. 2. Sarangi













Fig. 3. Oud

But relegated to subsidiary roles (remember, it’s a cello concerto), these instruments and their players are the only ties to the title, “A Global Celebration.” This is like to wearing all black on St. Patrick’s Day with the exception of one little green tag on your underwear, which is invisible to those who’ll punch you for not being more celebratory.

But really, is this uninventive program what the Oakland East Bay Symphony is earnestly trying to pass off as “A Global Celebration?”

Does anyone else feel duped?













Fig. 4. Global Celebration in Oakland
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2 comments:

Gustav said...

What if it were a good metaphor? Then what?

Seriously, so-called themed concerts that try to reflect or represent something other than music have passed their usefulness. Time to find a new PR device to add cache and some sort of cohesive epoxy to the repertoire in symphony brochures.

cereal_music said...

Someone said BART.

Maybe if the police in the Bay area were taking weapons classes instead of undergoing transgender "sensitivity" training they would know the difference between a firearm and a tazer. Only in CA, love you guys.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/08/10/MNL216647.DTL