Pittsburgh Symphony goes clubbing

Written by Andrew Druckenbrod on .

I skipped the Pittsburgh Symphony's Heinz Hall concert Friday to go to another PSO concert at Static. What? Yes the PSO did double time April 5 with the performance of a multimedia and multi music concert, Mercury Soul. Headed in part by composer Mason Bates, it was a mix of techno beats spun by Bates and the performances of art music by some PSO members. The night had its ups and down. It was a contrived atmosphere, especially with the CMU camera crews -- at least 3 cameras -- but it got better as the night went on. It is always great to listen to classical music with a drink in hand, and that was the case here, plus you could talk and not be shushed. Bates really came up with some amazing grooves during his pure DJ set but the choice of a Stravinsky work after those beats was a real energy drain.  Earlier the performance of some of John Adams' "Alleged Book of Dances" was performed by four PSOers and bassist Jeff Grubbs improvised on his own. It was an admitted experiment. I think it ended up being enjoyable, but it took a while and I don't know if it drove any new subscribers. Fun, though, and I hope the PSO keeps thinking this way.

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