Tag: show

Paris 1920s

Paris is a moveable feast

Ernest Hemingway

It is hard not to be intrigued by the period between the two wars, in which Paris flourished, and artists thrived. Montparnasse became legendary for its café life, as expats and locals fought their fights, argued over cubism, fashion, and politics, and lived their love affairs dramatically in the public eye. Key american figures were Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and George Antheil. From the French side, Kiki of Montparnasse, Erik Satie, and Jean Cocteau fueled the passions and artisitic explorations of a generation. Stravinsky, Picasso, and Diaghilev were their heros.
Guy Livingston lived in Paris for 25 years, and is creating this program (detais to be announced) based on artists and writers from the parisian avant-garde ‘entre les deux guerres’…

Designers, architects, poets, and musicians at a formal reception in Paris. George Antheil, known as the “Bad Boy of Music” is at the center.

“George Antheil certainly has genius. I do not believe that he has arrived at the definitive formulation of his art. What he is presently giving us are rather his studies, his researches, which are very close to those of Picasso: without concession, as far as he can in a domain that is often arid. However, I have already been permitted to enjoy the absolutely new pathos of it, the uprooting rhythm, a joyful drunkenness of contradiction, a private discovery such as children sing to themselves— it drives out demons and fixes gods without asking them for their opinion.”

Adrienne Monnier, poet and bookstore owner on the rue de l’Odéon, Paris, in the 1920’s

Ballet Mécanique SOLO

the acme of demented modernism!
—The New York Herald

Ballet mécanique SOLO is an extraordinary work by composer George Antheil, arranged for solo piano and electronics by Guy Livingston and Paul Lehrman. It was commissioned by the SinusTon Festival in Magdeburg, Germany, and premièred in 2016. Further performances have been in Montréal, and at Tufts University and Brown University.

World première of Ballet mécanique SOLO, at the SinusTON Festival in Germany.

Minimum technical requirements: 8 channels of sound with 8 loudspeakers; amplified grand piano; projector/beamer; screen; stage lights; mixing board. We bring laptops, MOTUs, and the newly restored film, which is 4K digital.

GUY LIVINGSTON performing Ballet mécanique at Tufts University

Tears at The Happy Hour

I sit in one of the dives on 52nd Street… (WH Auden)

Love. Lust. Longing. Loss. Libido. These are some of the themes that run through this evening of songs by Pulitzer and Grammy award-winning composer William Bolcom (1938-). In his desire to break the barrier between “serious” and popular music, Bolcom blurs the lines between cabaret, classical, music theatre and even country music in his setting of texts by Auden, e.e. cummings, Shakespeare and his long-time collaborator Arnold Weinstein. The result is a body of work which reveals a darkly humorous, sardonic world view.  

US première: Baruch College Performing Arts Center welcomes soprano Rayanne Dupuis and pianist Guy Livingston, who are proud to present the North American première of William Bolcom’s “Poèmes libres de droits”, a new song cycle written for them, on poems by Guillaume Apollinaire: a wistful, surrealist tip of the hat to Bolcom’s formative Paris years.

Amor by William Bolcom, words by Arnold Weinstein; performed by Guy Livingston and Rayanne Dupuis (live in Paris)

Soprano Rayanne Dupuis and pianist Guy Livingston present love, lust, longing and loss at the cabaret. 

…and coming in 2021: a new show from Guy and Rayanne: “L’amour…et autres bêtises”

Teaser for “Tears at the Happy Hour” duo… music of Kurt Weill, William Bolcom, Leonard Bernstein, and Marc Blitzstein.

Through the music of Kurt Weill, Marc Blitzstein, Leonard Bernstein, and William Bolcom, they take us on a poignant, darkly humourous journey through the highs and lows (and dismal bottoms) of relationships. The songs are presented in their original language (French, German, English). directed by Sébastien Davis. This show is currently in development.

Don’t Panic: 60 Seconds

“a feast for the eye and for the ear” — Radio 4, Holland

4 degrees above zero

Sixty Videos, Sixty Composers, Sixty World Premieres by and for Guy Livingston


“What if 60 composers from 18 countries each wrote 60 seconds for solo piano?” Don’t Panic! Livingston handles the show with an expert vison and masterful storytelling skills. Anecdotes of composers and mishaps are mixed with insight into the very nature of time.

Featured on the front page of the New York Times, in Le Monde, and on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition.

Ruby, music by David Dramm;
film by Menno Otten
Little Angel, music by Peter Klatzow;
film by Juan de Graaf
Last Minute Tango, music by Frank J. Oteri; film by Thijs Schreuder
The Piece that Anton Webern Wrote, music by Anders Jallen;
film by Nelleke Koop

“A great performance, visually and musically”
— NRC Handelsblad

Interview on National Public Radio
Music by Marek Zebrowski, performed by Guy Livingston

Music and Architecture

“A pianist with a flair for modernism”  

The New York Times 
Brunelleschi’s famous Duomo in Florence – full of musical proportions

Music and Architecture have been linked philosophically and physically since at least the time of the ancient Greeks. In today’s world, some of these connections have been forgotten, while others have only become possible with new technology. The world of virtual reality, digital audio, wifi, and miniaturized electronics are opening up a magnificent spectrum of options.

Guy Livingston studied music and architecture at Yale University. He is currently in residence at a former embassy in The Hague, designed by Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer. His studio is on the 3rd floor of this cold-war brutalist monument. He uses the space to record his weekly podcasts, and to host a concert series, both under the name: “The Bug,” an ironic nod to the spies who worked in the building.

Livingston is creating a new performance for piano, video, and electronics, which explores the links between space and music: an immersive program of piano, video, and electronics. Featuring Music for Airports (Brian Eno), Guy’s solo arrangement of Canto Ostinato (Simeon ten Holt); The Great Gate of Kiev by Mussorgsky (piano arrangament); Debussy’s Sunken Cathedral; a Talking Heads cover (Burning Down the House); an opportunity for the audience to “play the building” using an app on their smartphones. 

Guy Livingston in Marcel Breuer’s brilliant cold-war library – a concrete and mahagony cube from 1955.

Audible Architecture (for the Bauhaus Centennial)

In concert, Guy’s trademark relaxed style, honed through years of podcasting and radio work, is used as a narrative tool to bring us back to his freshman year in college, and his first architecture class at Yale, with the legendary art historian Vincent Scully. 

photos from classic and rediscovered Bauhaus films

Seated unconventionally, breaking the 4th wall, or even lying on the floor during Canto Ostinato, this concert is an experiential, immersive one for the audience; an eye and ear opener.

From there Livingston guides us through his summer measuring medieval temples in the Thar Desert, then to his years living on the left bank, overlooking Nôtre-Dame, and then on up to the Bauhaus and how it came to influence him personally.

with piano, video, and electronics (plus an interactive audience app)

An interactive, immersive experience for the audience…the format resembles a musical TedTalk: High energy, with unexpected insights presented in an entertaining manner.

in front of the ex-embassy

The visuals and the program sequence are being developed in conjunction with an architectural/acoustics firm TBA.

Dada at the Movies ii (new show for the centenary!)

What is Dada?

On July 8, 1923, the Parisian Dadaists organized the most famous Dada event ever. Everybody who was anybody was on the program that night: a play by Tristan Tzara, films by Man Ray and Hans Richter, live music by George Antheil, Erik Satie, and Darius Milhaud. During the show, a riot broke out amongst the rival Dada factions, and the poet Paul Eluard was thrown off the stage, breaking his arm. The gendarmes were summoned, and the Dada Soirée was memorialized as one of the great Parisian art scandals of all time. Inspired by the extraordinary artists who participated that night, pianist Guy Livingston has re-created the music and rediscovered the films, bringing us back to 1923 for his updated one-man show, Dada at the Movies.

Join audiences from all over Europe, Canada, and the US, who have delighted in Guy’s whirlwind, virtuoso, and comic performance.

DADA AT THE MOVIES: an introductory teaser

DADA AT THE MOVIES: Trailer by Torsten Porstmann.

The stage is dark, except for a spotlight illuminating a bicycle wheel from below (homage to Marcel Duchamp), which turns slowly, casting an ominous shadow onto the ceiling. The films are accompanied by live piano music, performed by Guy Livingston, who frequently interrupts with Dada manifesti, poetry, and even the sale of Dada ice-cream (it’s made of tissue paper), but only for those who have the special Dada-dollars.