Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lee Hyla In Memoriam

Miranda Cuckson (vln), Ning Yu (pf), and
Mariel Roberts (cello) performing 'Amnesia Redux'
I am on my way home from the Lee Hyla Memorial Concert at St. Mark's in the Bowery this afternoon.  It was a moving event that filled me with joy at the delicate rage and furious beauty of Lee's music, and also brought great tragedy for all the music that will remain unwritten.
c)i (Miranda Cuckson, Ning Yu, and guest Mariel Roberts) performed Lee's Amnesia Redux along side so many of Lee's friends and collaborators: Jim Pugliese; Christine Bard; Rhonda Rider; Marty Ehrlich; Stephen Drury; Tim Smith; and Vicky Chow, Trevor Dunn, Kenny Wollensen.
Before c)i played, I said a few words, which I hadn't been expecting to do; I think that they went something like this:
Early in c)i's existence, we took on a large project with him, his Miller Theater portrait concert.  This was a big deal from him and a very big deal for us, but what mattered most to me, and to c)i, I think, was his trust in our ability to pull that event off.  That is what Lee taught me, to trust in me, in my abilities and capacities and notions of what might be possible in music and in life.  Like Mathew (Rosenblum) said,  Lee's honesty and directness were at the very core of how he lived, and he taught me that it is through authentic commitment to one's own vision (not to the vicissitudes of what one should do, or what would gain one advantage) that one genuinely connects with people in the way that one must to create the musice of surpassing excellence that he did with every work.
Our sorrow is great, but also great is the beauty he gave us.