It's like our own little Darmstadt
Helmut Lachenmann comes to UCSD this week for a series of lectures, composition seminars and a giant concert of his music. The department is all a flutter - nay - a BUZZ with anticipation. The timing is exquisite. ...And I mean that both literally and facetiously, since his visit lands rather nicely one week before UCSD's annual blowout Spring Festival orgy of newness (May 9-18), thus expanding our festival to a solid 2 weeks...but of course creating all of the requisite rehearsal scheduling headaches that go along with such double bookings. (Fortunately, I don't think there will be any soccer balls involved in THIS double booking.)
I'm happy Lachenmann is coming. Really, I am. I've never met the guy. I hear he's very nice. But I'm plagued with questions (as usual) about UCSD's continued insularity considering such trifles as Lachenmann's imminent week-long visit, and the sheer quantity - to say nothing of the usual quality - of musical ridiculousness that goes into the Spring Festival. It seems to me like we're always one collaboration and one glossy PR packet away from being on some kind of international radar. I'm almost lead to believe that we (we being the collective consciousness of the department...or something) actively KEEP us as isolated as we are.
I think there MUST be something insightful in a microcosmic-example sort of way in all of this as to why musicians in general (as compared to practitioners of any of the other arts) are so indescribably bad at convincing anybody that what they do is at all relevant to ANYTHING. Of course, on the upside, I won't have to go fist-to-cuffs with any Lachenmann-wannabes for a seat at the 6pm (?!) concert next Thursday.
Huzzah for new music! Huzzah and huzzah!