Saturday afternoon, as the fog rolled under the Golden Gate Bridge, I walked to Crissy Field for the 4p run of Crissy Broadcast, a large-scale musical performance presented 3 times over the weekend.
It involved about a dozen different bands of mostly high school musicians. There was a range of ensembles, including winds, brass, strings, electric guitars, percussion, a chorus & traditional Chinese instruments.
I even spotted alphorns.
With all the groups assembled together in the center of Crissy Field, Lisa Bielawa, the composer, periodically announced the time through a bullhorn. She gave a final countdown at 5 minutes to 4, probably for everyone to synchronize watches.
The muscians were well-rehearsed. Each ensemble largely played in unison under its own leader, though the groups themselves seemed to be independent of one another. There were musical phrases that everyone played, so for a while there was a call and response effect.
After several minutes the bands began to disperse, so by the end of the work's one hour duration they dotted the periphery of Crissy Field. As the groups got farther apart & out of earshot, I had to choose to follow a particular one. They played in short bursts, then walked to their next location, so much of the time there didn't seem to be any music going on at all.
A few bands converged on the beach & ended the performance there, but I found it unsatisfying that all musicians did not re-unite.
Musicians far outnumbered spectators, though the people who happened upon the event clearly enjoyed the spectacle of young musicians playing together in public.
§ Crissy Broadcast Lisa Bielawa, Composer & Artistic Director Saturday, October 26, 10:00 - 11:00 AM Saturday, October 26, 4:00 - 5:00 PM Sunday, October 27, 12:00 - 1:00 PM Crissy Field | San Francisco