Yo La Tengo played the Ecstatic Music Festival w/ Alvin Lucier (pics / setlist)
photos by David Andrako
Yo La Tengo @ Merkin Concert Hall 2/17/2016
On Wednesday, at New York's Merkin Concert Hall, Yo La Tengo appeared as a combination of cover band and bare-minimum orchestra for the electro-acoustic composer Alvin Lucier in a program of his works, laced with three band pieces, presented by the 2016 edition of the Ecstatic Music Festival. Lucier, born in New Hampshire in 1931, co-founded the Sonic Arts Union in 1966 with other experimental composers including Robert Ashley and John Cage associate Gordon Mumma; taught at Wesleyan University for more than four decades; and has written for choruses and orchestras.
For Yo La Tengo, Lucier revived and debuted smaller-scale pieces in which he investigated -- and celebrated - the spatial relationships in tone, time and interplay. There were balloons, a triangle and a teapot, as well as guitars and a piano. There was very little rock, as you know it. But everything was an alternative, to a variety of mostly quiet, often compelling extremes. - [Rolling Stone]
Part of the Ecstatic Music Festival, Yo La Tengo played a special show at Merkin Concert Hall on Wednesday (2/17), mostly performing the works of experimental composer Alvin Lucier, as well as a couple YLT songs they felt fit the occasion. Lucier was on hand and joined them for "Heavier Than Air" where they sang through giant yellow balloons. They also premiered a composition, "Audibles," that Lucier wrote just for them. More pictures and the setlist are below.
Next up for EMF: Sonic Youth founding member Lee Ranaldo collaborates with experimental electric guitar quartet Dither at Merkin Concert Hall on March 2. Tickets are still available.
SETLIST: Yo La Tengo w/ Alvin Lucier @ Ectatic Music Festival 2/18/2016
Georgia Hubley - Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra (1988) for solo amplified triangle
Ira Kaplan and James McNew - Cris Cross (2014) for two electric guitars
Yo La Tengo - Sugarcube
Yo La Tengo + Alvin Lucier - Heavier Than Air (1999) for players with balloons
Yo La Tengo - Looney Tunes (Eddie Cantor)
Yo La Tengo - Audibles (2016)
Yo La Tengo - Saturday
Ira Kaplan - Nothing Is Real (1990) for piano, teapot and miniature sound system