Thursday, October 27, 2011

Multi-sensory night: The Los Angeles Bach Festival Prism Concert

I came for the lights and I got a whole lot more. Last friday night, I headed to the Prism Concert of the 78th Annual Los Angeles Bach Festival with expectations of fancy technical artistry with lights, but came out with a full appreciation of Bach's musical genius - and much more!

I took the Red Line to Wilshire/Vermont and found the gothic-styled church nestled among the city night life of K-town. Got there at 7pm for the pre-party including music by KCRW DJ Tom Schnabel and tasty treast from gourmet food trucks: The Patty Wagon, Jose O'Malley and Ahn Joo.  The Patty Wagon sliders were smal, but juicy and flavorful. Their fries were more like thin potato chips with a fantastic seasoning of rosemary and garlic. (Sense of taste and smell fulfilled!)

I've never been to the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles before, but my friend attends there and talks about the amazing pipe organ and that the church has been featured movies and TV series like My So-Called Life. I do believe almost everywhere in LA has been featured in on film or camera at one point, but this church did remind me of Notre Dame (possibly the circle window in front?). The words could not describe the beautiful symmetry of the pipe organ or the quaint, but majestic feel of the interior with hanging lights down the sides. (Sense of sight fulfilled!)

The concert started with "Ich habe genug” sung by E. Scott Levin, but my favorite were the two songs after: Fugue a la Gigue and Bouree II - performed by the California State University Long Beach Wind Symphony and jazz vocal ensemble, Pacific Standard Time, respectively. The laser light show brought on a gasp by the audience and for a moment, we were all mesmerized. Then something happened. The shift was subtle, but soon the music took over and everyone enjoyed the performances. The last performance of Toccata and Fugue in d Minor by Stewart W. Foster on the Organ and the amazing laser light performance accompanying it was no less than outstanding! (Sense of sight and sound fulfilled!)

After the performance, I didn't want to leave. I wandered around the church, saw and felt the architecture. The detail on that building was not over done, but gave a sense of awe and yet a feeling of closeness and comfort. (Sense of touch fulfilled!)

It was an amazing night! I came for the lights, but enjoyed the music and truly experienced a part of LA.

-Tiina Vuorenmaa
ExperienceLA Staff

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