SYMPHO, the orchestra that engages audiences by placing classical music in new contexts, presents the new concert experience, KAPOW!, Wednesday, June 12, 7 p.m. at the Rubin Museum of Art (150 W. 17th Street, btwn. 6th & 7th Aves.). Tickets: General $25; available at www.rmanyc.org, by calling 212.620.5000 x344 and at www.symphoconcerts.org.
Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and…the Green Lama? The lesser-known, but equally lethal comic book hero, Green Lama, basks in the spotlight in this new SYMPHO event. Last season, SYMPHO introduced New Yorkers to this Buddhist crusader’s adventures in its concert, The Green Lama, and the response was uniformly enthusiastic, with salon.com describing the “mixed-media sensory experience” as “…like nothing I’ve seen before and…even border[ing] on the spiritual.”
While last season’s The Green Lama presented Episode 2 of the comic book adventures, KAPOW! now presents the stand-alone Episodes 1 and 3. Seven musicians from SYMPHO will provide the live, polystylistic soundtrack -- acoustic and electronic, pre-composed and improvised -- to projected images from the comic books themselves, while acclaimed actors will bring the words and images to life onstage. Narrated and directed by WQXR’s Elliott Forrest, “KAPOW!” brings Jethro Dumont’s – the Green Lama’s – crime-fighting escapades to life. Law and Order SVU’s Linus Roache will portray the Green Lama, and Tony Roberts, the award-winning actor and long-time favorite in Woody Allen films, joins the cast as the Green Lama’s nemesis.
As an enticing palette-cleanser between the episodes, SYMPHO will take audience members through a sonic and visual “tour” of selections from the Rubin Museum’s exhibitions, pairing the projected images with a wide variety of improvised and commissioned musical selections. “Electric Sheep (http://www.electricsheep.org/
About SYMPHOSympho performances offer a distinctive and expanded view of the classical music experience. In collaboration with like-minded musicians and artists from other disciplines, Sympho provides audiences with engaging, immersive, multisensory experiences.
Starting in 2006 with its critically-acclaimed debut concert experience, REWIND, Paul Haas has honed a performance practice based on maximizing the visceral impact of sound on audience members by using alternative musician placement and movement constructs. Informed by the great masters of the Renaissance and early Baroque periods, church music of the Episcopal liturgy, and various world music traditions, Haas and Sympho are deeply interested in the sonic possibilities of unusually large or idiosyncratic performance spaces.
Sympho has elicited rave responses both from its audiences and the press. According to The New York Times, Sympho “refits the classical experience for a new century…performed with passion and beauty by Mr. Haas and his young players.” This is “like nothing you’ve seen before…Mr. Haas has seen the future of classical music,” exclaimed WQXR FM in New York City. The San Jose Mercury News called Sympho performances “terrific…
In 2011 Sympho was commissioned to create a site-specific concert event for the opening night of the Park Avenue Armory’s avant-garde Tune-In Music Festival, playing to a capacity crowd in the Armory’s 55,000-square-