Yesterday, Chaya Czernowin‘s Maim from broadcasted from the Musica nova festival in Helsinki. The piece, the performance, and the video documentation are nothing short of stunning, and they are still available for viewing. Block out 47 minutes in your day, pull out your headphones or connect to your speaker system, watch, and listen. But don’t wait 29 days, because you’ll probably want to hear it again, and then what will you do? Well, you could buy the CD, which is also great. But I mean you’ll want to see and hear this performance again. For one thing, the performers—soloists, conductor, orchestra, all of them—are visibly, unmistakably engaged in the work. They are totally invested in it, and you see it and you hear it. For another, how often do you get to see a tubax in action?
Rico Gubler gives a demonstration of the tubax at the 17:30 mark of the pre-concert discussion. His instrument, he says, is the second tubax the world! In that discussion, José M. Sánchez-Verdú also speaks about his work on the program, alqibla, which is also available to watch now and highly recommended.
And there’s one more resource, as well. Sometime before the concert, a conversation between the conductor, Lothar Zagrosek, the principal trombonist, Darren Acosta, and Czernowin was filmed and made available. Though it’s only 12 minutes, it’s very thought-provoking, honest conversation on a number of levels, from the rehearsal process, to the specific piece, to the relation of new music to history.