Sounds of the City 

“Concrete Frequency”

Wednesday, Jan 9 2008

The Los Angeles Philharmonic starts 2008 with an ambitious big bang as the “Concrete Frequency” festival rolls into town. The two-week multidisciplinary series of events explores and celebrates the concept of “the city” and its relationship to music, and it’s tough to decide which presentation is more exciting, electrifying and downright overstimulating. So we’ve got to recommend all of this week’s offerings. On Friday, festival director David Robertson leads the Philharmonic and trumpet soloists Alison Balsom and Gabriele Cassone in works by Luciano Berio, Morton Feldman, George Benjamin and Bernd Alois Zimmermann that touch upon the common themes of silence versus noise and urban density versus loneliness in the city. Saturday and Sunday, Robertson and the Phil perform Pierre Boulez’s startling . . . explosante-fixe. . .,a work for flute and live electronics contrasting “dynamic flux and movement” with “formal logic” that evolved over a 23-year period, and the world premiere of composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison’s Dystopia, a Philharmonic-commissioned work exploring L.A. in music and imagery. And on Thursday, the festival closes with “Man-Machine in the Digital City,” a wired odyssey featuring electronic psychedelia from Tokyo’s Cornelius Group and raucous soundscapes from the British duo Plaid, plus “cut-up sonic assemblages and wildly experimental visuals.” You go, Phil! Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri.-Sat. & Thurs., Jan. 11-12 & 17, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 13, 2 p.m.; $28-$142. (323) 850-2000, www.laphil.com.

—Mary Beth Crain

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