Yesterday was the longest day of the year. While many bemoan the shortening of days, I have a different view. Sometimes the sun is out for too long and what you really want are warm August nights full of fireflies and the humid air stirred by a breeze.
Regardless of which way one leans, the Solstice is something to look forward to if for no other reason than it marks Make Music New York, one of my favorite events of the year. For one day the whole of New York City becomes a concert hall. There is Ghanaian drumming in the Flower District, bluegrass in Union Square, jazz by the Hudson River, opera in Central Park, electronic music in Tompkins Square Park, reggae on 116th and Fredrick Douglass Boulevard, and country western on Roosevelt Island.
I had to work this year, but I did catch most of the Renaissance Street Singers, an all volunteer choir specializing in music from the 15th and 16th Centuries.
Rising from the corner of Christopher and Bleecker in the West Village, their voices cast an uncanny spell that surpassed a simple sense of anachronism. More than out of time, their modal harmonies transcended space. Though composed to be ricocheted around churches and cathedrals, even out of doors I felt enwrapped by the tonal vibrations that created an architecture of sound.
Luckily, they have more than one outdoor concert this summer. Hopefully some fireflies will come out for the show on one of the earlier evenings.