On Saturday, December 21, New Yorkers will once again Make Music New York at the biannual festival’s winter iteration. While it won’t be as extensive as the summer one, when there are more than 1,000 events to check out, the more carefully curated cold-weather version features several must-hear participatory events in Brooklyn. Get up early and dress warm, because you’re going to want to spend the whole day outside! (Plus, all events are free!)
To kick off the day is the event that sounds most interesting: “Winterize” at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, at which baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert will sing Schubert’s haunting Winterreise song cycle at different parts of the garden that are appropriate to the music and poetry. Who will wheel the pianist behind him? No one! Because he’ll be accompanied by audience members with battery-powered, handheld radios. What!
It’s the G in G: at every stop along the Brooklyn-bound G line, string players will be waiting on the platforms to hop onto the first car and tag-team the familiar prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major over the course of an hour in a performance they’re calling “Thru-Line.”
Show up promptly to El Puente in Los Sures and they’ll teach you the songs (and even lend you an instrument if you don’t bring your own) you’ll need to know for the ensuing parade that’ll go up and around S. 3rd Street. “La Trullita Navideña de Los Sures” ends back at El Puente with a reception and a stew.
Have you ever seen or heard about people parading around Brooklyn with boomboxes blasting ambient music? That would be Unsilent Night, Phil Kline’s semifamous public work. He returns to MMNY this year with a piece called Peregrine, a similar 45-minute electronic music parade that’ll start at BAM and wind through the streets of Fort Greene. Organizers will distribute boomboxes to the first 50 people who show up, but you can bring your own: extra cassettes will also be given out.
If you happen to be closer to Grand Army Plaza than BAM and just also happen to be on your bike, then become a part of “Blink,” in which a lead bicycle helmet will flash lights that signal riders following behind to ring their bicycle bells, which will be tuned to different pitches (and distributed before the event), thus creating music as they travel down West Drive in Prospect Park to Bartel-Pritchard Square.
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