The Los Angeles Philharmonic Kicks Off Its Centennial Season In Grand Style A Masterful Performance By The L.A. Philharmonic Of California Soul And UNVEILING OF REFIK ANADOL'S WDCH DREAMS Highlight Evening
LOS ANGELES, CA- For the past 100 years, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has been providing the community with glorious music. Under the skillful conducting of Gustavo Dudamel, the heralded orchestra began its centennial season on September 27th with a selection of music celebrating spirit of the Golden State with a program entitled “California Soul”. The program included pieces by Goldsmith (“Love Theme From Chinatown“), John Adams (“Harmonium: Wild Nights” and “Dharma at Big Sure: Part 2, Sri Moonshine”), Zappa (“G Spot Tornado”), a world premier of Julia Adolphe’s “Underneath The Sheen and a selection decidedly California pop songs. Of the selections, Elkhanah Pulitzer (the events director) stated:
“Each work captures an essence, a way of looking deeply at the forces forged by California’s vitality, expressed through journey within and beyond the self”.
In attendance for the evening’s festivities were a who’s who of the entertainment industry. The red carpet saw the likes of Debbie Allen, Herbie Hancock, Moby, Tony Kanal and John Williams, among others, and everyone in attendance was treated to special performances by The Doors’ drummer John Densmore, electric violinist Tracy Silverman, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Corinne Bailey Rae.
To hear contemporary pop songs performed with the backing of a full orchestra was a wonderful treat. It’s not often you’ll get to hear The Doors’ “L.A. Woman” performed with a full orchestra, let alone with John Densmore banging away on his The Doors branded drum kit.
But the most moving moment of the “pop” section of the program was Chris Martin’s performance of Scott Huchison’s “Los Angeles, Be Kind”. Earlier this year, Scott Huchison (the lead singer of both Frightened Rabbit and Owl John) passed away from a reported suicide, and the song, which is about a man’s reconciliation with a city that can, at times, be confrontational, was quite poignant.
Another highlight of the evening’s program was a rousing performance of Ashford & Simpson’s “California Soul” which featured Corinne Bailey Rae on lead vocals. Her delicate soprano voice floated atop the vigorous horn section getting the normally tame concert crowd reason to get up from their seats and dance a bit, which segued into a playful ensemble performance of The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” to appropriately conclude the program.
Following the music inside, the party continued outside where patrons could witness the unveiling of the Walt Disney Concert Hall “Dreams” by Refik Anadol, a visual art installation projected onto the exterior of the Concert Hall, accompanied by various music selections. It was a visual feast of lights to behold, and we here at Blurred culture highly encourage you to attend one of the public viewings that occur daily from 7:30 – 11:30 pm, until October 6.
Refik’s “Dreams” is a “data-driven art installation utilizing 100 years of the LA Phil’s digital archives – thousands of photos, videos and audio recordings. Working with the Artists and Machine Intelligence program at Google Arts and Culture, Anadol applied machine intelligence to the organization’s archive turning millions of data points into brightly-colored displays that were projected onto the steel shell of the concert hall.”
In all, the The LA Phil Opening Night Gala raised more than $3.4 million for the LA Phil’s many music education programs, which serve more than 150,000 youths, families, and teachers every year including YOLA, the signature program of Gustavo Dudamel. The Gala concert was made possible with the proud support of Rolex, the Official Timepiece of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.