Streams

Celebrating the Solstice--New Yorkers Make and Take in Music

Monday, June 21, 2010

On the longest day of the year, there were over 1,000 performances in every borough and in every genre. From professionals to amateurs, electronic musicians to classical music aficianados, New York's latest and most cacophonous celebration, Make Music New York, filled the streets.

In DUMBO, Brooklynite Xenia Rubinos rocked two synths and a tape looping machine playing her unique blend of bi-lingual punk, soul and electronica.  Nearby, members of The Famous Accordion Orchestra standing on the pebble beach under the Brooklyn Bridge played while newlyweds took their wedding photos. 

In the meatpacking district, the Interactive Music stages displayed the latest possibilities in electronic music. In one corner, a sonic installation that rippled and vibrated bursts of nature sounds mixed with the honking of trucks delivering fresh hunks of meat to nearby factories.

Across from the Apple store on Ninth Avenue, half-a-dozen iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch wielding musicians performed an 8-bit version of Terry Riley's "In C." 

Chris Lavender, 37, milled around the performance space shaking and turning an iPhone in one hand and an iPod Touch in the other. He is one of the composers and creators of the software that allows Apple's wireless products to play along with "In C." 

Although Lavender is a professional musician, he half-jokingly, says he is "sick of playing with real musicians." He wanted to create software that is accessible to anyone. "Everything that the real musician could do with an instrument, but without an instrument, that was the idea," he says.

Earlier in the day at the same spot, Ann Stout, who works in advertising for Google, took her work to the streets. "Because there's music outside and I don't want to be inside doing my work. This is much more relaxing," Stout says. "I think this is what makes people creative, just enjoying this atmosphere."

Over 1,000 musicians will perform in public throughout the five boroughs today.  The last concerts end around 10pm.
More than 300 cities across the world are holding similar events.

Over 1,000 musicians will have performed in public throughout the five boroughs. The last concerts end around 10 p.m.

More than 300 cities across the world are holding similar events to ring in the solstice.

WNYC's top picks are here.

Samantha Stark/WNYC
Bob Goldberg and Carl Riehl of "The Famous Accordian Orchestra" play on the pebble beach near the Brooklyn Bridge.
Samantha Stark/WNYC
A wedding party receives a suprise accordian-serenade as they pose for photos under the Brooklyn Bridge.
Samantha Stark/WNYC
Xenia Rubinos with Marco Buccelli on drums playing bi-lingual punk/soul/electronica near the DUMBO Arts Center.
Samantha Stark/WNYC
Xenia Rubinos rocks two keyboards and loops her voice to make unique music.
Samantha Stark/WNYC
Cady Finlayson plays traditional Irish fiddle outside the Trump building on Wall Street. Vita Tanga's guitar adds a global twist.
Samantha Stark/WNYC
A woman on a break from work takes refuge in some music and the building's shade.
Samantha Stark/WNYC
The view from a fiddle.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Mason Alexander, 4, is a student at the 3rd Street Music School
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Mason Alexander, 4, says he's been playing piano for "61 minutes." He is playing one of the Play Me I'm Yours pianos.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
A saxophone player from Thailand joining in a rendition of the 60 minutes piece by Paul Nash "Still Sounds Run Deep"
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
A horn player checking the clock on the 60-minute piece by Paul Nash "Still Sounds Run Deep"
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Two group of "circuit benders," Sean Mcintyre, (L) 24, who took the day off from his job in finance, and Vector Zero (R) playing re-purposed toy keyboards using solar power.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Two members of the iPhone orchestra playing Terry Riley's "In C"
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
She's not trying to find a signal for her phone, she is playing various instruments on her phone using a sophisticated computer program that makes sure she is in the right key
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
In front of the Apple store in the meatpacking district, these people are using their phones to participate in an 8-bit version of Terry Riley's "In C"
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
This man decided to try one of the Play Me I'm Yours piano, while Terry Riley's "In C" was being played behind him
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Voce performing a blend of poetry, tape loops and drumming in the meatpacking district
Samantha Stark/WNYC
Make Music New York also sponsored several "mass appeals," putting a call out for anyone who played a certain instrument to meet up and jam.

Mass appeals included violins, pianos, harmonicas, and guitars.

Samantha Stark/WNYC
Over 70 people gathered in Union Square to show off their guitar skills, and a few volunteered to sing.

Organizers from the New York City Guitar School said they found most of the participants on meetup.com.

Samantha Stark/WNYC
Some guitarists had decades of experience--others, as little as 10 weeks.
Samantha Stark/WNYC
Guitarists were given music sheets so they could rock out to eight songs, including crowd favorites "Stand By Me" and "Hey Jude."
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Turkuaz in Williamsburg
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Outside of Rose Live Music in Williamsburg funk fans celebrated the longest day of the year
Gamelatron playing at sunset in Williamsburg on the East River
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Gamelatron playing at sunset in Williamsburg on the East River
Folks came from all across Williamsburg to hear Gamelatron's soothing electronica
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Folks came from all across Williamsburg to hear Gamelatron's soothing electronica
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
The funk/ soul band Turkuaz rocked Williamsburg Monday night
The longest day of summer comes to a close on the East River
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
The longest day of summer comes to a close on the East River

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Comments [1]

(aka) voce from New York, NY

What a terrific day for music in New York City!

Jun. 24 2010 09:02 AM

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