Chiara String Quartet - Merkin Concert Hall - January 17, 2011
I’m gradually getting around to all these venues of which I am aware but have never been to. So Merkin falls! The event was the opening marathon of the Ecstatic Music Festival. C’mon, who can’t use a bit more ecstasy in their life. I sure can. So I got there plenty early for primo seat; later in the day once the hall was filled, a line developed outside and admission was only when someone left vacating a seat. The downside of the performance logistics (standard for such marathons) was that each performer or group played only a short set – So Percussion, also on the bill was really brief, and I started sketching them but didn’t get far. At least Chiara played an extended piece (Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartet #3), so I managed to get all four players. As soon as they finished I left to try to get to the green room, but alas, no access, and considerable uncertainty about getting them to sign. I’m not that into dallying, but I stuck it out and ended with success. Trouble was, I had already exited and could not get back into the hall for micturating without waiting in line. Fortunately I remembered facilities at Columbus Circle (whatever that building is with JALC, etc). I got to the men’s room and witnessed a sure sign of the apocalypse: the sinks for washing hands had facing mirrors (no biggie) but embedded in the mirrors were small screens, like TV or computer displays – so people could go to the rest room and avoid disconnecting from the 24-hour e-cycle for even the briefest bodily function interruption. Somebody thought this was the right thing to do?? C’mon guys (don’t know if this applies to women’s room facilities), leave it alone for a few seconds, jeez!!
A bit of special tinkering with this one: there were two separate sketches, each with two players; I said what the hey, merged them into one. More wavering on the format for the caption; I went with Calibri over the handwritten.