Monday, March 23, 2009

Amstel Quartet at the Bradbury Building

Bradbury BuildingWhen my friend Adam emailed me asking if I wanted to go to a concert at the Bradbury Building, there weren't any reasons not to go - it was an outing with a good friend; I'm a big fan of chamber music, and as much as I love the beautiful historic architecture of Los Angeles, I had never visited the Bradbury Building. To boot, the Da Camera Society that hosts Chamber Music in Historic Sites is an ExperienceLA partner. What more could I want?

The Da Camera Society of Mount St. Mary's College brings together two great things - Chamber Music and Historic Sites. The experience is two-fold because the beauty of the experience is coming from so many different directions - the visuals presented by the detail of historic architecture and the sounds of great music within that beautiful space. In the case of my Sunday afternoon, I was able to hear the Amstel Quartet - a saxophone quartet from Amsterdam - within the architecture of the 1893 Bradbury Building.

The Bradbury Building was built for mining millionaire Lewis Bradbury by George Wyman. The building would be Wyman's most famous work. A backstory provided by Jennifer Pinie in the program mentions that Wyman consulted a plancette (a Quija board-esque device) to talk to his dead brother about taking on the project. The program indicated the irony of the response as the dead brother "told" him: "Take the Bradbury Building. It will make you famous." I personally think it was a prophecy fulfilled because it did make him famous, and for good reason!

The Bradbury Building - perhaps also known for its movie star qualities in Blade Runner and Chinatown among many other films - is just beautiful. With wrought iron caged elevators and imported tiles and its huge skylight, your breath catches a little, just looking up when you walk in.

Couple this background with the music of the Amstel Quartet and it was a spectacular afternoon. The Amstel Quartet had a music set that went from works in the late 1800s to modern times (I was a big fan of the Haydn and the A. Pärt) which fit an evening basking in Bradbury Building history. Also, at one point, the quartet played their instruments and walked up and down the stairs of the inner courtyard. A little hokey I suppose, but I'd just fall flat on my face just trying to walk in general, so it impressed me!

Next up in the Da Camera Society's Chamber Music in Historic Sites series is Ciaramella presents "Prisoners of War and Love" at one of my recently tweeted architectural discoveries - the 27th floor observation deck at the City Hall of the City of Los Angeles.

Scroll through my photos of the Bradbury Building in my Flickr:

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator

1 comment:

Sherrill Herring said...

Thanks for the write up, Charity. We look forward to seeing you at our next Chamber Music in Historic Sites concert!

Sherrill Herring, Associate Director
The Da Camera Society