ashnistrike: (lightning)
[personal profile] ashnistrike
Retrieved from a conversational tangent, last, night, that went in a different direction.  What art are you willing to travel for--that is, spend longer on the road than you do experiencing the art?  For me, this usually means that something is not only transcendently wonderful, but relatively rare.  The three that I can think of are

  • Live performances of Spem in Alium, Tallis's 40-part Motet. I've managed to stumble into a performance once, looking for free things to do on my birthday one year in Amherst, and haven't managed to come within 500 miles of one since.  Recorded, the motet is a particularly beautiful example of multi-choral singing, and doesn't come remotely close to the experience of sitting in a circle of 40 voices weaving in and out and around each other, creating a complete universe out of song.  I haven't yet tried Janet Cardiff's 40-speaker installation, currently at the Cloisters.

  • Live performances of Sassafrass's Sundown opera.  I've caught parts of it live, most notably at last year's Vericon, which I actually went to instead of a Spem in Alium performance the week before.  Sassafrass comes across more fully in recording than the motet, partly because the lyrics are a larger part of the point, but live still makes a difference.

  • Dale Chihuly installations. Chihuly does things with blown glass that are beautiful and eldritch and possibly batrachian and gibbous.  But in a good way.

I would travel for Cirque du Soleil, but the barrier is more often money than distance.  I would travel for Shakespeare if I had to, or for Hudson River School paintings, trilobite fossils, or new books by my favorite authors.  Fortunately not all beautiful things are rare.  However, there's a particular delight in managing to track and experience something that still is. 

Date: 2013-10-07 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Rare and fleeting things, that is, not a rock, a city, or a wood? I travelled a great way many times to hear the Watersons (who were my muses). I've journeyed for Vermeers, for an Andy Goldsworthy installation, for Shakespeare.

Fortunately, I had only to walk through the tail end if a blizzard for Spem in Alium, a work in time and space.


Date: 2013-10-08 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Not that one doesn't travel for the permanent and solid things as well. I suppose it feels somewhat different--finally getting to a place one has always wanted to see, and could have seen at any time one was able to travel, versus brief windows of opportunity: "dancing instructions from god."

There is, oddly, a permanent Andy Goldsworthy installation ( at the Museum of American Art.

Date: 2013-10-07 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I would, having seen him live once, give serious consideration to travelling for a Leonard Cohen concert. And also definitely for really good Shakespeare.

Also, in the last few years, [ profile] daharyn and I have a couple of times synchronised one or the other of us travelling from Montreat to NY or vice versa to both see VNV Nation.
Edited Date: 2013-10-07 10:26 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-08 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We get so much amazing Shakespeare around here; I need to get better at finding the time for everything within an hour's drive. Sometimes I end up experiencing too little of something because it's so easy to access.

Date: 2013-10-07 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Cirque du Soleil, YES.

Date: 2013-10-08 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Oh, that's why humans have bodies."

Date: 2013-10-08 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've done trips to NYC for various Broadway shows.

Date: 2013-10-08 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also well worth it.

I actually have very little feel for what the good musicals have been in the past decade or so--I need to catch up so that my collection doesn't trail vaguely off after grad school.

Date: 2013-10-11 02:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Tell me which existing musicals you like and I may be able to recommend where to start with the current crop.

I have been known to travel for music, theater, conventions, flash mobs, and of course, to be with specific people in specific places at specific times (but I think they call that vacation).

Date: 2013-10-11 03:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like musicals in general, but my favorite "modern" ones (a decade or two out of date) are Into the Woods, Once on This Island, Evita, and Les Mis. I also have all the appreciation in the world for the arrangements in Rent. My least favorite musicals are Miss Saigon (the plot, it burns us) and mash-ups of pre-existing pop music. I like Avenue Q and dislike Wicked; I think those may be the most recent for which I've heard the OCRs all the way through.

Date: 2013-10-11 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I recommend Next to Normal, The Last 5 Years, Hairspray, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Ragtime.

Date: 2013-10-08 12:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I went to New York to see the play of Dhalgren. And I may go to Atlanta to see Sundown again, if that's where it's happening again.

But it's usually conversation I travel for, not art, though if art it available I'll take it.

Date: 2013-10-08 02:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ultimately, it's usually conversation and company that I travel for, as well.

Other non-art things: I very nearly traveled for the last shuttle launch, and then it got moved to a day I couldn't get off work.

Date: 2013-10-09 03:36 am (UTC)
ext_3690: Ianto Jones says, "Won't somebody please think of the children?!?" (atom)
From: [identity profile]
I suppose you wouldn't count serendipitous detours on the way to other places (on one long trip we stumbled upon a "treasures of the tsars" show in Topeka, of all places, that we'd have been willing to travel to somewhere else besides Topeka for in a separate trip if its next destination hadn't been 'back to Russia', so we, ahem, adjusted our plans to see it then and there, and I'm still very glad we did 'cos FABERGE EGGS), so the most going-to-lengths-to-see that I can think of off the top of my head is driving to Toronto and back to see a Munch exhibit that included a version of "the Scream". (We were based half a day away at the time, so it was a day-trip, but still...) Given the parameters of my life, IE that the person in the household who can actually drive is a visual-artist, most of what tends to rise to "...yeah, I could be arsed to do that despite it being slightly insane" is visual-arts type stuff, and often involves being going somewhere nearby it anyway (there was this other time we took a couple-hour detour to see Carhenge...)

Date: 2013-10-11 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Serendipitous detours are a different thing, although also awesome. We need to take more road trips that don't involve cats.

Speaking of which, we owe you a call--are you around and available some time this weekend?

Date: 2013-10-12 05:05 am (UTC)
ext_3690: Ianto Jones says, "Won't somebody please think of the children?!?" (BRAAAAINS)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, yeah, if it hadn't been for the cats you don't even want to know how long those trips would have taken... ;)

This weekend's pretty nutty with Events-Of-Unknown-Duration, next is a more reliable prospect (or Monday-or-Thursday if you're around and available...)


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