Go to Lincoln Center, 8/13, at 5pm, to see the public domain

I signed up to sing with the choir at the Mostly Mozart festival premiere of David Lang’s The Public Domain. Our performance is Saturday, August 13, at 5pm. GO. If you are in New York.

At the first rehearsals, I didn’t quite get it, or fall in love with the piece. The way it’s composed, it’s going to be five groups of around two hundred singers. Within each of those groups are five subgroups. Each group of two hundred singers rehearses alone, so until it’s all put together, it’s hard to get a sense of it. It’s like being one instrument section in a symphony rehearsing without the other sections. Kinda.

There’s also choreography (Annie-B Parson is the choreographer). Last night we put the piece together as it’s going to happen with our one group and our five subgroups. I could see for the first time what this was going to look and sound like when everyone is together.

It’s going to be insane, and, I’m pretty sure, great. If nothing else you will see something you’ve never seen before and it should be quite a spectacle. It’s both art and theatre, and you can walk right into it. I highly recommend doing just that. I’m guessing it will be very freaky to be in the middle of something like this when you have no idea what is happening or will happen, but go for it. I’m doing it because it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and the audience can make it that for themselves too.

Here’s my suggestion. Get there before five and sit around the fountain. You’ll be right in the thick of it.

We’re being conducted by Simon Halsey, Choral Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, and I stupidly didn’t think to take pictures until the end of the night (that’s him in the picture below). I will be sure to take pictures next week, when we join with another group of 200 singers to put together the piece again. This time it should be even closer to what will happen on Saturday.

the public domain by David Lang

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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