Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Knapp Debut With Hardyville Symphony Marred By Violence: 9 Injured in Classical Clash
by Griselda Chizterer
LBAC Music Reviewer
Sporting a retro Gilley's Club T-shirt and swilling expensive Scotch like a Jersey mafia wife, former alt-folk rocker JENNIFER KNAPP made an explosive foray into hardcore classical music in her debut with the Hardyville Symphony Orchestra last night.
Previous attendance at HSO events had peaked at 34 (counting Manny the custodian) but with Knapp's high-wattage star power, bad ass attitude, and avant garde interpretation of Claude Debussy's "Maiden with the Flaxen Hair," HSO managed to sell out the 150 seat theatre in just three weeks.
The performance was marked by tension from the very first note, however, as Knapp, slightly inebriated and bellicose, resisted the efforts of her backup musicians to take the piece down a more traditional road.
"What the fugue are you doing?" Knapp demanded angrily, brandishing her silver trumpet and threatening to smash the saxophone player's skull into "a quadrillion nutrinos."
Knapp then turned to her shocked audience and explained that just like her idol, Claude-Achille Debussy, she preferred "keeping it experimental and real".
"I am here right now to challenge the rigid teachings of the traditionalists. I want the dissonances and intervals which some of you might frown upon. I have to be true to myself and to CA's vision."
Hearing this, the crowd erupted into fistfights between classical neo conservatives, and a rowdy bunch of "Achilleheads" who took their clothes off and moshed to Knapp's blistering trumpet solos.
At least 9 people were reported injured in the melee, including 73-year-old Veronica Sterns of East Hardyville. Sterns, a columnist for the Hardyville Coupon Gazette and a leading neo-classical advocate, was thrown from her chair by Achilleheads suffering a broken collarbone.
"Knapp's butchering of Debussy's most intimate work is a travesty. She should stick to the guitar and those unwashed, bra-burning, man-haters at the Lilith Fairs," fumed Sterns.
For her part, Knapp remained undisturbed by the sounds of glass breaking and chairs being hurled onto the stage, continuing to channel the spirit of Debussy through her Callet Sima Eb/D trumpet.