English: Eyvind Kang, moers festival 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Eyvind Kang had to be exhausted. The Seattle-based composer/performer had pared his vast catalog to the precise pieces to perform, flown to New York, organized and rehearsed a disparate collective of musicians, and produced six nights of sound – two wholly different shows a night. To top it off, his weeklong residency was at John Zorn’s avant-garde The Stone, an intimate, sparse space where the edged rosin stroke from Mr. Kang’s viola bow could be heard without the din of conversation and clinking glasses – so long as the air conditioner was turned off, which it was, in the July heat. Mr. Kang said the heat and humidity helped to intensify the ritual element of the performances, and he was right. The dripping audience sat wrapped each night in the undulating rhythms: glass bowls, breathy tubas and cello, muted pianos and drums, and, occasionally, the exotic voice of Mr. Kang’s wife Jessika Kenney. But on the final night, he got more than he expected. Performing pieces from their 2012 composition The Face of the Earth, the lights were turned off and, in total blackness, musicians and audience were almost overcome by the atmosphere.