Esa-Pekka Salonen appeared last Thursday at the Apple Store in Santa Monica, California, to discuss his orchestral piece Helix. Salonen demonstrated his composing methods at a pre-Intel PowerBook, holding a large crowd mesmerized. Salonen's new Piano Concerto can be heard at the New York Philharmonic website through March 2. Helix will be given its American premiere by the LA Phil on March 30, with an iTunes release slated to follow. More pictures below.
Here is an array of seven-note scales and chords from which the musical material of Helix is generated:
Chad Smith, the LA Philharmonic's Vice President of Artistic Planning, who is not to be confused with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, moderated the discussion:
Salonen seldom appears in public without his fearsome security contingent:
The above two pictures, in case you're wondering, are inside jokes in honor of two enjoyable weeks I spent behind the scenes at the LA Phil. That's Adam Crane, the orchestra's PR director, on the left. The actual Chad Smith was out of focus.