Phil has written sonatas for other instruments before, but this would be his first for the piano. I imagined how much he would pour into it given that the piano is the instrument he has spent a lifetime playing (at home and on countless tours). However, Phil is not an artist to let the potential of a “first” be tethered to what is known. His exuberance came from writing something that would far surpass what he could play, or be able to entirely hear on the instrument itself beyond imagining it as the composer. There would need to be someone who could bring the music to life and bridge the musical space between themselves, the audience and the composer.
In spring of 2019, Philip Glass sent Namekawa the score for the sonata, and the following summer the two longtime collaborators premiered the work at the Klavier-FestivalRuhr. The piece made its American debut in November of that year at the Morgan Library andMuseum in New York City.
This weekend, UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA)—in association with ArsElectronica in Linz—will stream a prerecorded performance by Namekawa of the piece. Also on the program: Mozart Camargo Guarnieri’s Sonatina No. 3 in G-clef (1937), Alban Berg’s PianoSonata, Op. 1 (1907-1908), and György Ligeti’s Musica Ricercata.
On the 27th of November, 2020, more than 300 artists, intellectuals, and Cuban citizens presented themselves at the Ministry of Culture to demand the government follow through on their supposed commitment to freedom and civil rights. This protest came as a result of police violence exerted the previous day against members of the San Isidro Movement—an activist group who over the course of the past few years has been vocal in demanding greater freedom of expression in Cuba. Using social media as a tool to bring awareness to their cause, they have sparked renewed attention and urgency in calling for an end to government censorship and repression against all artists, intellectuals, and activists in Cuba. This community adopted the name 27N and together have staged peaceful protests asking for freedom of artistic expression in the face of government repression.*
This week, MOCA Los Angeles will host a virtual panel with artist and activist Tania Bruguera and other members of the 27N. See link below to register.
LAZARUS was one of the last things dad created before he died. I know he was incredibly excited about it: working with new people in a new medium. His favorite place to be. As tired as he was, he was clearly loving it! The original London production will be streaming in January. — Duncan Jones
David Bowie and Enda Walsh’s LAZARUS—directed by Ivo van Hove—will stream this month for three days only, marking Bowie’s birthday and the fifth anniversary of his death. See link below to find your location, date, and time.