I'm on a plane heading to Fort Lauderdale, and from there we'll go to Key West for a sorely needed getaway. It was a little painful to get up at 4:45 am this morning since we were up late packing after performing at the J. Elster pop-up in TriBeCa. Jennifer, the "J" of the gallery's namesake, overhauled the Steinway piano of her late grandfather, harpist Reinhardt Elster, the oldest retiree of the Metropolitan Opera. Trevor Gureckis and I played solo piano pieces: I played the fugue from Ravel's le Tombeau de Couperin and the cadenza from Potential Energies, composed by Trevor, and he played Philip Glass's Mad Rush as well as his own nocturne. People would get so close when we performed. Some dude was even standing in the curve of the piano looking at me. I didn't mind; I thought it was cool that the idea of physical distance between performers and audience somehow dissolved for people in this setting.
The gallery was full of Jennifer's artistic reflections on existence, which included collaborations with David Bowie and Yoko Ono, and a video called "Cemetery," which Trevor and I perform in. It was exciting to see it, since it was taped in 2014 and finally premiered last night. Other performances included Met harpist Mariko Anraku and a makeup artist/musician on singing bowls (will find his name!), and impromptu performance art by Jennifer.
One of my favorite moments was when Julia Wilkins, who was also in "Cemetery," just started dancing with the harpist. Someone behind me said, "Is that supposed to happen?" When Jennifer got up to join her it was clear the answer was "Yes."
After experiencing this I feel more compelled to pursue all the weird, random ways I want to express myself. It's inspiring to see someone do it so beautifully and honestly.