Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cameron Carpenter, Classical Wild Man

THE young organist Cameron Carpenter is a thinker, a talker, a rebel and a nearly androgynous figure in white jeans -- I think of him as a cross between '50s Glenn Gould and '70s David Bowie. He makes other classical iconoclasts I know -- Jeremy, for instance -- seem middle of the road.

I spoke to Carpenter for the Los Angeles Times Influences column, which I am taking over for a while. When I told him I wanted him to talk about artists who've shaped him who don't play his chosen instrument, he said he was happy to stray from the organ, which he thinks is in the grip of a new kind of orthodoxy and conservatism. “I’m all about taking things out of the organ,” he says, “and the organ out of things.”

My interview with the be-sequined Carpenter, who is a very physical performer and feels more connection to silent-movie players than church organists, is HERE.

Here is Mark Swed's review from what sounds like a completely insane show in a church last spring.

Carpenter plays a recital of Brahms pieces next Sunday, May 8, at Disney Hall.

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