Rhys Chatham’s “A Crimson Grail” (200 Guitars) Set for Tonight in Damrosch Park

Sarah Lipstate (aka Noveller) at After The Jump Fest 2008 (06/21/08)

Last year’s performance of Rhys Chatham’s “A Crimson Grail” was rained out and had to be canceled for safety reasons. The show is back on for tonight (Aug 8) at 7:30 pm in Damrosch Park outside Lincoln Center and the weather looks good:

On Aug. 8, in another of the city’s remarkable season of free concerts, the plan is to try it all again. But this time there will be risers for the musicians, tenting and a different electrical plan. In addition to the opportunity to bask in a highly unusual concert, the United States premiere of “A Crimson Grail” will offer a chance to witness the homecoming of a prodigal son of New York Minimalism, an art-music composer who has had a tremendous, if underappreciated, impact in the world of rock. After last year’s washout, which received a lot of blog attention, word is getting out; if the weather is good, Lincoln Center is expecting a crowd of more than 10,000.

New York musicians will be well represented. Sarah Lipstate, 25, a guitarist formerly with the rock group Parts & Labor who now performs under the name Noveller, will be coming in from Bushwick, Brooklyn, again, along with many friends. Emilie Friedlander, 24, a violinist and music critic from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, will be returning too “” even though by her own admission she has “virtually no background as a guitarist at all, other than knowing how to hold down a bar chord and sustain a running tremolo for several minutes at a time.” (On the plus side she cites her experience with orchestral performances.) The section leaders, each commanding a platoon of 50 guitarists, include Seth Olinsky, of the experimental Brooklyn-based band Akron/Family, and the veteran composer, bandleader and author Ned Sublette. [NYTimes.com]