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David Van Tieghem, Bump in the Night (Part 2)

Alice Tully Hall

John Cage’s gently terroristic ideas so ravaged the conventional wisdom about music that experimental composers/performers are still busily rebuilding the “new music” genre years later. David Van Tieghem, in the latest version of his constantly retitled and revamped music-performance piece, adopted a neo-Cageian approach—a knowingly innocent attitude combined with whimsical choices in sound-making—to a distinctively ’80s theater of comedy. As indicated by the title of the series in which it appeared, the “Serious Fun Festival,” Van Tieghem’s concert was couched in terms of smart entertainment. If that left Bump in the Night (Part 2) uneasily stranded in a conceptual no-man’s-land between insight and clever comedy, well, that’s where a lot of performances deliberately locate themselves today. But simply straddling the crossroads where vaudeville and esthetics intersect is no longer interesting

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