Making music on the NYC subway

Posted on: January 3, 2013

In the December 24 New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin writes, “Slowly, surely, it began dawning on the G train passengers on Friday afternoon. These were not ordinary subway buskers. This was no accident. Something was going on. For an hour musicians tag-teamed from stop to stop in the first car of the train in a continuously repeating performance of the Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1. In G.  The performance, called ‘Thru-Line,’ started at the Court Square station in Queens heading south into Brooklyn. A musician would enter the first car and play as much of the prelude as time allowed. At the next stop the player would step off, to be replaced by someone else. The process repeated itself.” The event was part of Make Music Winter, “the second annual winter solstice musical celebration that is an offshoot of the long-running Make Music New York event in the summer. Public events were happening around the city. The performance in the G train was devised by the composer James Holt. No cellos were seen playing the cello suite, but it is music often transposed for other instruments. Mostly other string players took part: violinists and violists, but also several guitarists, a flutist, a harmonica and an accordion player.” Anthony Tommasini, Zachary Woolfe, and Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim also reported on various performances around New York, from the High Line to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to SoHo.

Posted January 3, 2013