A young, progressive British classical composer and an acclaimed artist from Lubbock, Texas, are not the most likely pairing. But the radically boundary-blurring approach both take to their respective crafts has Thomas Ades and Terry Allen meeting in the mixed-media middle. From April 1, the L.A. Phil presents a weeklong festival celebrating a charismatic talent who often collaborates with video artists to fulfill the potential of his tumultuous, jazzy visions. As a longtime friend of Ades, we've discussed this process often; and though other evenings include important video elements, on April 5, Aspects of Ades Green Umbrella offers the most epic example. "A composer starts with just an idea in his head, and he has to turn it into something. That idea could be a picture, a word or a shape there's no difference in the mind. With these video collaborations, you see what you hear and hear what you see. It's like watching what was in the composer's head before he started writing." At L.A. Louver, Terry Allen: Ghost Ship Rodez was born of the same synesthesia. Allen uses video-based sculpture, original music and theatrical elements "as needed" in this case, to tell the intensely stormy story of French writer Antonin Artaud's transportation by ship to a mental hospital. "I tried to imagine what was going through Artaud's mind during that voyage. Sometimes you need different tools to express different parts of a larger idea," Allen says. Ades: Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri., April 1-Sun., April 9; $42.75-$61.25. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. Allen: L.A. Louver, 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice; Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., thru April 16. (310) 821-7529, lalouver.com.
Tue., April 5, 2011