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Classical Pick of the Week: Concrete Frequency

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For the third year, the Los Angeles Philharmonic is producing a series that explores a single topic, usually one that reaches from the hardcore to the non-traditional classical going audiences. In 2006, it was Minimalist Fest. featuring famed compositions of the minimalism movement and an all night concert til 4 a.m. with The Orb and other trance artists. This past year was From Shadow to Stalin, an exploration of Eastern Europe, classical musics to the band, DeVotchka.

This year is Concrete Frequency, "a multi-disciplinary series of events designed to examine and celebrate the elements that define a city, and how they are affected by, and reflected in, music" according to the LA Phil. The series of three components -- music, film and symposia -- begins this Friday at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Friday night's program has American composer Aaron Copland's score to the documentary, "The City." It was thought that the city represented a place of great possibilities, but there was doubt it was the only way to live explained conductor David Robertson in a video by the LA Phil. The film looks at the suburbs as the alternative, which eventually brought empty and degraded city centers and then urban blight in reverse -- strip malls. The film will be screened with live orchestral accompaniment.

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Also on Friday's program is Edgard Varèse's "Amériques," followed by a post-event until midnight "in alternate spaces of the Hall with music, film, and dance inspired by the sights, sounds, and soul of Los Angeles," the Phil explains on ExperienceLA.

The same concert program continues on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon with two additional pieces: Frank Zappa's "Dupree’s Paradise" and George Crumb's beautiful "A Haunted Landscape." Saturday afternoon will bring architect Frank Gehry and conductor David Robertson together on a free panel symposia exploring various elements of our built environment.

Image provided by the LA Phil