Posted in music | pictures on August 16, 2008

photos by Jason Bergman

Göttsching
zero guitars

"Alright I'm going to be the first to chime in here - how about telling us it was cancelled before sitting through an hour of gottsching. I respect him, don't get me wrong, but I did not go to sit through an hour of dance music surrounded by people thinking they were at bonnaroo. They should have done it unplugged, even with electric guitars, it would have sounded better than nothing." [Anonymous 1]

"i'm so effing pissed off that they made me sit through an hour of monotonous as hell gottsching. it was torture and then only to be told that the guitar performance was NOT going to happen, when the VERY well could have told us that it was cancelled before making us sit through that misery." [Anonymous 2]

Rhys Chatham announcing the cancellation
zero guitars

"There were contingency plans to play the whole thing in the church with a smaller audience but they kept it outside hope against hope (hi Robert Poss). Weather forecasts are more accurate now than Woodstock and I was pretty surprised at the decision." [Hugh]

"sh!t, i was one of the 200 guitarists that was supposed to play in this, and *i'm* pissed about sitting through that show. we gave up 3 nights for rehearsals, were there for soundcheck at 1pm on friday, and then stood in the rain for 4 hours...and then through that endless E2-E4 b.s. show...

there was a contingency in place (the show would have happened at st. paul) but they had to make the decision about the choice of venue at noon due to all the equipment & people involved. i still can't believe, however, that they didn't have a way of dealing with the weather. i'm no electrician, but..." [Anonymous 3]

the crowd
zero guitars

More pictures from last night's short 'Lincoln Center Out of Doors' show @ Damrosch Park below....

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Comments (67)

Rhys Chatham can eat me for making me sit through that Gottsching stupidity. You're never gonna live this one down. You should've have done it in the church. You KNEW it was gonna rain, yet you exercised poor judgement and made everyone else pay for it. Nice going.

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 4:37 PM

What's worse than sitting in the rain for hours only to find out the performance you've been waiting all along to see has been cancelled?

Sitting through an hour long torturefest by none other than Gottsching.

What's worse than sitting through an hour long torturefest by none other than Gottsching?

Watching a crappy "lightshow" featuring thirty foot images of Gottsching projected on the wall of the bandshell while he plays crappy (at best) to utterly abysmal guitar solos over a redundant and migraine inducing looping track.

What's worse than all of this?

Billing the show as "Spiritually Transcendent."

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 4:42 PM

Priceless.

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 5:16 PM

I really expected a better show than was presented last night. Beata Viscera's treatment of early vocal music was a delight, and a perfect opening act in a Wordless Music event. The second act was just fucking boring, excuse my French. I have attended quite a few of the Wordless shows, going back to Andrew Bird and Hawk and a Hacksaw, and have become used to hearing wondeful and sometimes new things, but Gottsching should have been banned at the fucking border. They talked of the piece as a landmark, but even 24 years ago I would have found it boring as shit. No dynamics, no change of meter, or tempo. This is the kind of shit that became known as New Age, and for a good reason, IT SUCKS. Age also hasn't been kind to Joshua Light Show. It may have been "cool" at Woodstock, but that was then, and this is now. How could they have the balls to put that shit on a screen. That chick on stage going back and forth with the tripod in front of Gottsching was a waste of flesh. She should have been electrocuted.
I feel sorry for Chatham, coming all this way for a postponement, though I do hope they reschedule it. I was looking forward to seeing it, I know it is good, I have it on disc.

Posted by garysi | August 16, 2008 5:18 PM

Ash Ra Tempel was awesome but Gottsching needs to go eat a dick.

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 5:22 PM

i wasn't familiar with gottsching before the show and as the above poster states, i go to wordless gigs expecting to be introduced to provocative music that previously was unknown to me, but gottsching was just plain terrible and on top of that, terrible to watch. the joshua lightshow was completely unnecessary and seemed like it was there to "enhance" that horrible gottsching set. only horrible plus horrible results in just plain unbearable. i sat there in the cold rain, praying it would stop. but it just kept going on. and on. and on. first a crappy keyboard interlude then a crappy guitar interlude. then more crap. and more crap. and it just never stopped. once it finally died (and yes, it did die, only very very slowly), the crappy wordless people told us what they already knew before the gottsching crapfest began, chathams piece was never going to happen. sigh.

openers were. good. but not good enough to save the night from the aforementioned crapfest.

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 5:32 PM

that gottsching piece was good but not in a live setting. i never listen to the album in full at home. why would i listen to it for an hour standing in the rain with old folks from the upper west side?

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 5:49 PM

the old folks from the upper west side were leaving in droves during gottsching set.

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 6:00 PM

consider yourselves spared

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 6:05 PM


I like E2-E4 (and I like a lot of Ashra and Gottsching's stuff even more) but it was never meant to be listened to while sitting in the rain watching a huge screensaver.

Put it on while going 85 on a wide-open stretch of highway and it's a completely different experience.

Posted by anonymous | August 16, 2008 6:11 PM

dirty projectors at southstreet seaport were fucking awesome. nice choice suckers.

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 6:59 PM

Wow. Bitter, party of 200? EG was @#$%ing excellent!
A lovely, if damp, night, it stopped raining and the people around us were certainly grooving and getting into it. Actually, when they cancelled the 200 guitars, they should have done E2-E-4 again!

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 7:25 PM

whoever thinks hawk and a hacksaw is amazing and thinks gottsching sucks can eat a dick.

they should be banned from listening to music...they just dont get it.

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 7:58 PM

dragging a dead deer up a hill

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 8:24 PM

when the rain comes, they run and hide their heads...

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 8:34 PM

from the nyhappenings yahoo mailing list:

minimalism vs rain?
> Any word on if this thing at Lincoln Center tonight is
> gonna go on?

Re: minimalism vs rain?
> I heard it was going to be so minimalistic that it might
> not even happen. Now that's art!

Posted by Aaron | August 16, 2008 10:31 PM

ok, I was there, too in the freakin' (cold huh?)rain - no umbrella either..

The choral section was pretty nice as an opener..

E2-E4 was actually pretty good (it worked for me.. maybe because I needed to move, to warm up). As a matter of fact, it sounded better than as a CD/LP..

But : the lightshow was ATROCIOUS!!!

and Manuel G's guitar solos.. I mean I am not a musician but were they unacceptable or was it only me..

Rhys C's cancellation was a total bummer and I am pretty sure that they knew about this long before they announced it..

Posted by L.A. | August 17, 2008 1:14 AM

jeez, i didn't hear about this gottshitty guy until i read this blog haha. he can't possibly be worse than nickelback though...

Posted by hmd1987 | August 17, 2008 4:35 AM

No one had final confirmation on if we were playing or not until after E2-E4. Lincoln Center was the one to make the final call, not Worldless or Rhys... I know most of us were extremely hopeful and willing to risk playing in puddles.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 9:35 AM

It's important for people to realize, especially the guitarists, that the decision to cancel Crimson Grail wasn't made until midway into Gottsching's set. The order of performances was switched to buy additional time, hope that the rain would let up sooner, and enable the technical staff to assess the situation. Had the rain been lighter/ended earlier, the show would have been able to go on. Unfortunately as they continued to check conditions around the park, there was way too much standing water to go forward without risking a tragedy.

Everyone involved in making the decisions that day was devastated by not being able to perform it. The planning process was incredibly complex, and had been going on over an 8 month period. It was agonizing to not be able to hear it performed.

It was far less agonizing than it would have been if someone had gotten electrocuted.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 9:47 AM

Don't the organizers have internet? There are tons of websites were you can get weather forecasts. How did they not know it was going to rain? Seriously. Every forecast I saw (NY1, TWC, weather.com) called for severe thunderstorms in the evening.

It is 2008. Get with the program.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 10:57 AM

You idiots should have been at The Dirty Projectors. Longstreth was summoning lightning.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 11:13 AM

9:47 Those are flimsy excuses, especially since there after such a long planning process and EVEN a contingency plan in place. It was simply just POOR judgment to not move the show inside instead of just keeping your fingers crossed for "light rain" when weather predictions where heavily to your disadvantage. As a result thousands of people were effected and made to stand out in the cold rain, listening to a program they had no intention of even staying for.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 11:16 AM

From the listserve of Ned Sublette(Section leader)

apologies to those who turned out last night to hear rhys chatham's "a crimson grail" at lincoln center out of doors, only to find it cancelled at the last minute for reasons of safety.

i'm a show-must-go-on guy, and like the other three subconductors of the piece, i certainly wanted to play it after having spent the week drilling it with the musicians. but i was relieved when it was cancelled.

the orchestra consisted of 200 electric guitars, all tuned to open octaves, and 16 electric basses -- a true monster concert. one of the refreshing things about it was that there was no overall p.a. system -- the idea was to move sound around a field of 216 point sources. 216 volunteer musicians brought their amps, which were deployed in a meticulously planned sequence
around three sides of the perimeter of damrosch park. i was in charge of 52 or so of them. some had flown into town from other places to be in the piece. they ranged from veteran and professional players to people who could barely change their strings, but there were more of the former than the latter and everyone was serious about their music. i saw some old friends, and met people i'd been hearing about for years. the techniques required of the guitarists were quite simple, so everyone could play the piece right if they paid attention and followed the score.

armies are about logistics, and that applies to guitar armies too. producer regina greene (and all the rest of the people involved in planning and execution) did a splendid job of making it all happen. sound check, which entailed carefully balancing the volumes of the individual amps, was beautiful. we played one of the three movements straight through, an antiphonal passing of crescendoing and decrescendoing chords from one part of the space to the other. then we ran a chunk of the first movement, in which pulsing notes move in phasing circles around the sound field. what a sound it was.

unfortunately, shortly after sound check ended, while most of the musicians had left the area in search of dinner, a dark cloud rolled in. the
production team was prepared for that, with tarps to cover the amps. but it wasn't just a fast-moving little shower. it rained like heck for quite a while.

the damrosch park bandshell keeps the stage and p.a. dry when it rains, and the audience brings umbrellas. there were two other artists on the concert bill, who played with no problem as it rained. but we weren't using the stage and the p.a., and where we were, out around the perimeter, there was standing water in puddles all over the place. even though it had stopped raining, with 216 amplifiers all connected up and so much water on the ground, it would have been too dangerous. the musicians' safety had to come first. under the circumstances, it was the right call not to play the piece.

it was frustrating, but rhys took the disappointment well, as did most of the musicians. it was a considerable consolation to have been able to hear part of the piece at sound check. it was also successful in one of its non-musical, or maybe i should say para-musical, aspects, as a social experience: the concentration of all those people who assembled to learn and execute something together was stimulating, and everyone made new friends. so thanks to all the musicians who made it happen. for me, it was fun conducting again -- i hadn't done that in a while, and never with such a large group for so long -- and it was wonderful to work with rhys again after so many years.

i hope it will be possible to remount the piece one dry evening in the future.

and i'm expecting to be back at lincoln center out of doors tomorrow night (sunday) to hear the tribute to graciela. even if it rains.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 11:18 AM

Ned Sublette needs to eat Schitt.

Should have looked at weather.com. Anyone with half a brain would have told you that the show needed to be moved inside. Instead, Ned Sublette decided to screw everyone over.

And yes Ned, we are all elated that you got to hear parts of the piece performed during soundcheck. Tell that to the thousands of people you who showed up that night and heard absolutely nothing.

Fantastic.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 11:30 AM

I emailed Ronen Givony of Wordless Music the night before that the weather forecast was very grim fully expecting that the Grail would be performed at St. Paul. I'm completely grateful we didn't power on the amps and no one was electrocuted at Damrosch and I'll say it again in different words: whoever made the decision to keep it outside at noon that day was a fool.

Posted by Hugh | August 17, 2008 12:09 PM

You eggheads got what you deserved.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 12:24 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z7pbAfWNwE

wow..an hour of that? really??

my deepest condolences, crowd from last night.

Posted by nick | August 17, 2008 12:28 PM

got schitt

what a crap nite ned and wordless.

weather.com

please use it next time.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 12:37 PM

as one of the guitarists, i was surprised by the decision as well. after i checked the weather forecast, i left for check sure that the performance would be indoors (all of our amps were left setup in the space). the night before we submitted guest lists for the indoor show.

As far as the actual performance goes, despite what was sent out to the musicians in an e-mail explanation, i'm pretty sure they made the decision to cancel before 7pm. cables and strips were in puddles. Lincoln Center surely did not want to deal with the liability, but the promoters probably also did not want word to get out that the show was cancelled and risk people leaving.

i wouldn't blame rhys for this. though he's the composer, he didn't have final say about the in vs. out thing.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 3:11 PM

and, if they truly didn't decide to cancel until during the E2-E4 set, they should have taken a look at the strips, tuners, and cables lying in the rain around 6:30 when the guitarists gathered...i think the decision would have been pretty easy right then.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 3:21 PM

Ned Sublette is full of Schitt. Obviously just trying to cover his own ass. Would much rather have heard the guitar piece in the church. Yes, Joshua Lightshow might not have been able to "perform" in the Church, but who cares. We would have seen the guitar piece and then everyone could have started to bail once they figured out the Gottsching piece was not worth staying for.

Poor organization and bad judgment makes everyone look everyone involved look like a schmuck. Completely unprofessional. Someone should be fired over this.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 4:26 PM

"Rhys Chatham can eat me for making me sit through that Gottsching stupidity"

If Black Dice or someone like that performed that... you would all think it was brilliant.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 5:29 PM

It wasn't Rhys who decided changed the order. It was collective decision the promoters/organizers from Lincoln Center and Wordless Music — they took a HUGE risk and it blew up in their face.

If the light show was what tipped the scales towards performing outside when the decision was made at noon (when it was sunny despite the ominous forecasts), I've lost a lot of respect for Wordless Music and Lincoln Center.

Getting 200 guitarists from as far as France to come play, to bring amps, to juggle schedules, and to rehearse for 3 days all on a volunteer basis (not to mention the application selection process), is a huge undertaking. That should have been the baseline consideration for having the show indoors. Why risk all that effort and damage?

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 6:35 PM

"it was a considerable consolation to have been able to hear part of the piece at sound check"

considerable??? that is clutching at straws.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 6:38 PM

I'm one of the guitarists that came from farther away than most - a lot of personal expense, and time. While I was as disappointed after all the work as anyone, I don't think that assigning blame will make any of us feel better about how things ended up. I don't want to "clutch at straws" as one said, but I came away, on the positive side, feeling like I had met some incredible musicians that I wouldn't have otherwise had the opportunity to, and I was exposed to a guitar concept that I never had - I'm walking away a more mature musician for having even been part of the rehearsal process than I would have otherwise. Yeah, it sucked that it was canceled - I don't need to do the hind site stuff that has already been so well elaborated on - but, as my friend said, you roll the dice, some times you win, some times you don't..... though I'm not looking at this as a total loss - the biggest loss, in my opinion, was to the people who did not get to hear our concert, which is a shame. All the best to you fellow guitarists, it was a pleasure all the same.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 8:19 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJYbOGj0C0o&feature=related

This is the most amazing guitar playing...ever. All hail the rhythmless, tuneless Gottsching!

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 8:25 PM

i hope people learn from their mistakes. something like this is preventable.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2008 9:34 PM

Lincoln Center made the decision to play outdoors even when most of the people involved (Rhys, the section leaders, the guitarists) knew it was supposed to rain. Lincoln Center made the decision to cancel the performance. It was Lincoln Center's call the whole way. We (the guitarists) knew how good it sounded at St. Paul's, and we believed we were going to play there until we were told to bring our amps to Damrosch. Don't get pissed at Rhys or Ned or anybody else in the orchestra. Lincoln Center made the calls, and everybody directly involved in performing the music was crushed by the cancellation.

Posted by dre | August 17, 2008 10:37 PM

regardless, lincoln center AND wordless have lost my respect.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2008 12:35 AM

I'm sure everyone will really miss your respect, db.

Posted by Anon | August 18, 2008 9:38 AM

phew, glad i stayed at the restaurant and sucked on margaritas. shouldn't play man vs. nature, when people are at risk.

Posted by annie momus | August 18, 2008 10:11 AM

I think the biggest mistake with this show was that Lincoln center set up folding chairs instead of just letting everyone to stand around and move around. From what that conductor said, it would have worked best to move around the floor as the guitar piece was playing. Same way I think you would have enjoyed Gottsching more if you were able to move around the floor dance or whatever. So, there was no need to set up the chairs, if they do it next year please forget the chairs.

As to the second issue with the rain yeah i got soaked no umbrella but chalk it up to experience. I would do it again in a second. Im pretty sure Rhys if they want to do it again next year (like he said in his remarks) he will have no trouble getting 200 guitarists to participate, or even twice that number. this is nYC, no shortage of musicians who would want to be a part of it.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2008 10:28 AM

anon 9:38 i'm sure everyone will care when your face is pounded into the ground.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2008 10:54 AM

Spoken like a true minimalist.

Posted by Anon | August 18, 2008 11:02 AM

let's hope anon 9:38 gets struck by lightning in the next thunderstorm. fingers crossed.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2008 11:13 AM

Truely a bummer. But this isn't the end of the world. Put it in perspective folks.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2008 12:27 PM

I was one of the 200 guitar players. We all had a great time and very grateful to have been part of such a wonderful piece of music. It was a social event for the ages. I'm am very proud of what we did even if we did not get to perform it in front of 5,000 people.

Posted by Vincent Del Basso | August 18, 2008 12:38 PM

I was also one of the guitarists and no matter how disappointed you all are (or angry... and come on, grow up a little will ya!), you have NO IDEA how devastated we all are that this didn't happen. I can not even imagine how heartbroken Mr. Chatham is (my best to you Rhys)! Just to be the voice of reason, this IS what happened and why. Yes, the weather forecast stunk, but the sky had begun to clear which WAS NOT part of the forecast. It did seem as though we were going to be able to cheat disaster. Let's face it, how many times has the forecast been wrong this summer? Many might say "well, why chance it", after all we had a gorgeouos alternate venue. The answer is simple, Damrosh Park can hold around 10,000 people (which was what was expected). St. Ann's Church holds at best 1100 people. Guests of the musicians would have taken up 400 of these seats, press & other assorted guests would probably taken an equal amount. that would have left about three hundred seats for the general public. Consider the fact that 5000 people sat at the park in the pouring rain for hours knowing that this performance was likely not going to happen, you can only imagine the chaos that would have been created by the lack of available seats. Understand this, you folks that are screaming the loudest are the exact people who would not have seen the performance anyway. Had this actually gone off as planned, this would have been an event people would have been talking about for decades (at least). I do wish it had happened at the church anyway, but it is obvious why the people in charge made the decisions they did. My only suggestion to the folks at Lincoln Center Out Of Doors would be a few strategically placed rain dates in the schedule for situations like this (one every 5 days or so). Also, you may want to have security back off a bit (this wasn't an Iron Maiden concert fer Christ's sake!). I can only hope that we all reconvine soon and try again, this is one of the most amazing pieces of music I've ever heard and I'd consider it a sincere honor to be involved again.

Posted by dennis | August 18, 2008 12:50 PM

a complete waste of 5000 peoples time. people have a right to be upset. the church should have been used. there's no question about it. weather.com should have been more carefully consulted. it was so humid that day, common sense could have told anyone that a big down poor was on it's way.

people in charge should be fired over this.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2008 12:57 PM

I was also one of the guitarists and no matter how disappointed you all are (or angry... and come on, grow up a little will ya!), you have NO IDEA how devastated we all are that this didn't happen. I can not even imagine how heartbroken Mr. Chatham is (my best to you Rhys)! Just to be the voice of reason, this IS what happened and why. Yes, the weather forecast stunk, but the sky had begun to clear which WAS NOT part of the forecast. It did seem as though we were going to be able to cheat disaster. Let's face it, how many times has the forecast been wrong this summer? Many might say "well, why chance it", after all we had a gorgeouos alternate venue. The answer is simple, Damrosh Park can hold around 10,000 people (which was what was expected). St. Ann's Church holds at best 1100 people. Guests of the musicians would have taken up 400 of these seats, press & other assorted guests would probably taken an equal amount. that would have left about three hundred seats for the general public. Consider the fact that 5000 people sat at the park in the pouring rain for hours knowing that this performance was likely not going to happen, you can only imagine the chaos that would have been created by the lack of available seats. Understand this, you folks that are screaming the loudest are the exact people who would not have seen the performance anyway. Had this actually gone off as planned, this would have been an event people would have been talking about for decades (at least). I do wish it had happened at the church anyway, but it is obvious why the people in charge made the decisions they did. My only suggestion to the folks at Lincoln Center Out Of Doors would be a few strategically placed rain dates in the schedule for situations like this (one every 5 days or so). Also, you may want to have security back off a bit (this wasn't an Iron Maiden concert fer Christ's sake!). I can only hope that we all reconvine soon and try again, this is one of the most amazing pieces of music I've ever heard and I'd consider it a sincere honor to be involved again.

Posted by dennis | August 18, 2008 1:10 PM

I was one of the 200 guitarists. My parents came into town for it. They had to sit through Gottsching.

I'm still pissed at all the bad calls that were made - like inviting that guy, deciding to keep it out doors, etc.

The guitarists spent a lot of money (we had to lug our gear there without compensation whatsoever, were told to buy extra strings, etc.) and time, just to be told and sold a bunch of bullshit.

It still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. No respect for the organizers. Rhys? I feel for him, I knew that, if anyone, he felt worse than me about the cancellation.

BUT, if they do reschedule (they should have rescheduled the next day - everyone kept asking me why they didn't) I would only participate in it again IF they 100% keep it indoors. Maybe move it to a bigger church? I mean, come on - this is NYC. There are places to play besides that one.

Crimson Grail is touted by Rhys as a "Holy Piece". The culmination of events on Friday night made me think one thing:

This is proof that there is no God and that love is a sham.

I went home, got drunk, listened to Otis Redding, and cried a tear or two. And I'd rather not think about this whole thing anymore.

Posted by anamolous | August 18, 2008 1:10 PM

Okay, perhaps the God thing...but 'love is a sham'? C'mon, fella...perspective.

Posted by Anon | August 18, 2008 3:39 PM

Maybe it cleared up, but the forecasts on weather.com STILL had 60-70% rain for the evening. Not to mention a tornado/storm warning that my friends txted me about around 5:30 pm. It was extremely humid, and birds were flying very low, which suggests low pressure.

I agree that still having it outdoors is very very enticing given the numbers the park can hold, the outdoor consideration, and clearing up of the weather.

However, given the time and effort put in by the organizers and musicians not to mention the safety of the event and the value of the equipment, the decision to have it outside was asinine.

Given the weather forecasts, is it better to perform it indoors to 1000 people, and have the organizers, musicians, and audience members satisfied? Or perform it outdoors and have the organizers, musicians, and audience members NOT satisfied? I would have opted for the former.

Indoors was the rain date. It probably should have been used. Otherwise, other precautionary measures should have been taken (e.g. an actual rain date).

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2008 4:15 PM

if crimson grail is a religious piece, and there is a god, and that god is a catholic god...clearly the lightning, thunder, torrential downpour, tornado watch, low-flying birds and overly-zealous bouncers were all decided when rhys dropped the f bomb over st. paul's p.a. system the night before during the rehearsal. fortunately 216 roasted guitarists and bassists weren't in the cards as well.

at least tony conrad was having fun!!!

Posted by anom | August 18, 2008 5:01 PM

haha, tony and his funny dance!

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2008 5:34 PM

learn your music history, morons! gottsching is a god. ash ra tempel, ashra, klaus schulze, his electronic works. show some respect.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2008 11:44 PM

I likw Gottsching, but I think E2-E4 is incredibly dated. Time to create something new.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2008 11:50 PM


I hope you mean it's time for *you* to create something new...

Manuel didn't play E2-E4 because he hadn't written anything since then, he played it because it's 25 years old, he's never played it in this country, and because it made sense on a program of historic minimalism.

Posted by anonymous | August 19, 2008 12:53 AM

To the GOTTSCHING haters:

Do yourselves a favor and check out the following Ash Ra/Gottsching albums:

- Blackouts ('77)
- Inventions for Electric Guitar ('75)
- New Age of Earth ('76)

Incredible space(d) music, Krautrock dreamscapes, with a clarity and optimism not often found in that sonic milieu. Beautiful stuff, mysterious. Crystalline.

To the LINCOLN CENTER haters:

I was Guitarist #84. I wanted the show to happen as much as everyone else, as a listener and as a player. But it was an outdoor work, arranged for outdoor acoustics, and the church hall would simply not have done it justice. I mean, let's face it, the work is named "A Crimson Grail (2008) for 200 Electric Guitars (Outdoor Version)." I was there at soundcheck -- it sounded totally different (and much better) when performed under the sky.

Mounting a concert of this proportion was undoubtedly wicked difficult, not to mention ambitious and deeply noble. The organizing parties shouldn't (and didn't!) compromise their vision of this being performed outdoors. I say cheers to them, even if it meant a no-show.

Posted by bob tomorrowland | August 19, 2008 1:18 AM

bob tomorrowland should go back to the yesterdayland of outdated and irrelevant music that we seems to faun over.

there was absolutely nothing interesting about the gottsching performance and what made it even worse is that many endured it so they could hear the guitar piece only to be severely disappointed.

i disagree about lincoln center and wordless organizers. they should have had their act together especially since so much advance planning was involved with such a large amount of people. it's horribly irresponsible and inconsiderate.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2008 3:07 AM

"This is proof that there is no God and that love is a sham.

anamolous 1:10"

I'm not trying to rub salt in your wounds but if you're this bitter, you've got bigger problems than a cancelled gig.

Posted by blackhat | August 19, 2008 6:04 AM

We've gotten e-mails from the Lincoln Center organizer and Rhys' promoter/manager. Still no word from the Wordless organizer. No one has owned up to deciding to have the show outdoors.

Rhys' promoter claims that soundcheck was twice the legal volume limit. So, she was saying that indoors or outdoors, the show would have been cancelled anyway.

Also, I don't know what she meant by twice the legal limit. If the limit is, say 117 dB, then is she saying that we were playing at 123 dB?

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2008 12:00 PM

As one of the 200 guitarists (and 16 bassists), I would like to echo the others in saying that we were just as angry and disappointed that the performance didn't take place.

If you need to blame someone, though, please do not blame Ronen and Wordless Music, and do not blame Rhys Chatham or Gottsching. They were right in not letting us perform. If anyone had been electrocuted, it would have been beyond tragic. However, the show should never have been called for outdoors, but held in the Church. I blame Bill and Lincoln Center. They really do not know what they are doing. I hope Wordless Music will no longer have any affiliation with those clueless tools.

Posted by Joseph | August 19, 2008 1:44 PM

I too blamed Lincoln Center, but a friend mentioned: "wouldn't LC prefer it indoors to ensure no liability issues with injury?" If that's the case, then perhaps someone else made a convincing argument to hold it outdoors.

Or perhaps it was LC that wanted it outdoors for the glory and was first to want to cancel once liability became an issue?

Judging from the e-mails the musicians have received, no one is owning up to the initial decision to hold it outdoors.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2008 6:09 PM

#84, so you prefer having it outdoors given the conditions and forecasts? because "it sounded totally different (and much better) when performed under the sky," and cause of the title of the piece?

The uncompromising attitude seems haphazard given the circumstances.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2008 6:14 PM

The Saint Louis Symphony & Glenn Branca will have their event indoors: http://www.slso.org/guitar/100.htm

Posted by matt van brink | October 13, 2008 5:08 PM

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