“So I pose the question this way: what musical performance of the 20th century would you most want to either witness or take part in? Imagine performing in the orchestra for the Rite of Spring premiere in 1913, or being in the crowd at Stalag VIII in 1945 for Messiaen’s performance of his Quartet for the End of Time?”
Pretty good answers, I must say. Still, I’d rather go halfsies on Caleb’s time-cab:
“The original staging of Xenakis’ Perseopolis in the ruins of the palace of Darius, at night, played over a hundred loudspeakers spread through the ruins, with fireworks, choreographed torch runners, natural fire, and huge projectors. Kinda sticky politically, but still.
Actually, there were several Stockhausen events to make me yearn for time transport. He played a series of concerts in the caves of Jeita, Lebanon, where he placed 180 speakers among the rocks and played his electronic and intuitive music in the inner dome of the caverns…”
As for me, I know exactly what places I’d hit– first off, John Cage and Lejaren Hiller’s 1969 performance of “HPSCHD;” the simultaneous outpouring of seven harpsichords, multiple tapes of noises, outer space slides, films– all in the University of Illinois Assembly Hall. After this, I’d part ways with Caleb for a few months, and use some of my future money to clear out the record shops (vinyl, baby!) and bide my time until December. Of course, I’d have New Year’s Eve plans… for any Hendrix-phile like myself, the chance to take in all four Fillmore East Band of Gypsies shows is just too tempting.
By this time, I’d have the whole McFly bit down pat, so I’d be ready for travels a bit further back… 1914, to the London Coliseum, for some of Luigi Russolo’s performances with his Intonorumori. Time travel most likely being rather expensive, I’d defray my costs with some minidisc bootlegs, making for a lovely limited-edition boxset to finance the trip upon my return.