Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, October 05, 2021

There’s nothing more aura-shattering than the shrill chirp of a cellphone during a concert performance. The inevitability of the disturbance makes it even more of a buzzkill.

In response, the Chicago Sinfonietta takes the can’t-beat-them-so-join-them principle to the orchestral extreme. “Concertino for Cellular Phones and Symphony Orchestra” not only uses four musician-controlled amplified cellphones, it also incorporates audience participation to complete the performance.

Paul Freeman, the group’s music director, told the audience beforehand, “This is a great moment in history, when we can say to you, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, turn on your cellphones.’ ”

A device similar to a traffic light signaled the audience members to activate their rings — red for the balcony, green for the orchestra seats — at various points in the piece. An assistant conductor, Terrance Gray, followed the score and activated the lights…

During the performance, some in the audience held up their phones and waved them back and forth, as if to make themselves heard. Little squares of light from the phone screens studded the hall at Dominican University, one of the homes of the Sinfonietta. But the audience cellphonists seemed to lose steam toward the end of the piece, and the orchestra occasionally drowned out their rings. Organizers hoped that the sound would be better the next night, at Orchestra Hall in Chicago.

I love the term “cellphonist”, by the way.

Very inventive. I guess such a piece relies upon the widespread default rings that most people carry on their phones. As such, I’m not sure that me and my MP3 ringtone version of Chic’s “Le Freak” would be welcomed to this show…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/05/2021 10:44:23 PM
Category: Creative, Tech
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6 big ones
Y’know, I had an itch to buy a ticket for tonight’s Rangers home opener versus the Capitals. First time being in New York for the start of the NHL season, after all. And if nothing else, a chance to see Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin in the flesh.

I talked myself out of it, somehow. Figured it’d be more relaxing to settle in and watch the game from home.

So what happens? I was relaxed, all right — until Brendan Shanahan potted two to reach 600 career goals in his Rangers debut. Then I got agitated, having missed out on the chance to see that milestone live.

Figures. Oh well, I’m definitely going to a game or two next week. Hopefully Shanny has a few more biscuits to put in the basket this season…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/05/2021 10:10:58 PM
Category: Hockey, New Yorkin'
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Mad props go to Sports Illustrated’s Allan Muir, for his apt description of still-free agent NHL forward Jason Allison:

Look, we all know that he’s slower than dial-up…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/05/2021 09:39:44 PM
Category: Hockey, Internet
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