Thursday, June 23, 2016

Colorful BAMPFA Atrium & Bach-Mania

Have a gander at the newly installed colorful clumps of very movable soft furniture in the atrium you pass at the new BAMPFA home, on your way into the Barbro Osher Theater. Cal students draped themselves over the chunky pieces, then snapped images of themselves.

That space needs to be occupied by folks and not just an empty area with no reason to linger, chat and engage with the new venue in creative ways. Glad to see the museum administrators adapting the venue to be as inviting as possible.

The photo of the students was taken few weeks ago, when I finally caught up with Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet's most-accessible film, "The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach," at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive. We were treated to a pristine imported 35mm print from a cinematheque in Europe.

A fictional diary of Johann Sebastian Bach's second wife, this 1968 film featured excerpts from his music performed at locations where it was first heard and I found the cinematic austerity pleasing to my eyes and ears.

Since seeing it, I've pretty much listened only to Bach's enormous body of music and find it difficult to listen to any other music. I'm sure this Bach-mania will pass but until it does, my queer ears will enjoy his partitas and sonatas and concerti and choral works and preludes and cantatas and . . . all the rest of his mighty compositions!

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