September 7, 2012, I was sitting near the front of the River Run Centre in Guelph, Ontario, Michael New nearby, for ROVA's reimagining of John Coltrane's Ascension, performed by the expansive Orkestrova.
I had known the program was to be filmed. Lyn Hejinian had earlier alerted me to the fund raising campaign ROVA was mounting to make possible an ambitious film project around the piece.
The hall was even more than usually well lit with a striking blue design, and there were five cameras on hand. (We were particularly impressed by the overhead dance of the boom camera, which often swung just over our heads for a view corresponding closely to our own.)
Available now from Rogue Art, the package includes three disks, with an accompanying essay by Stuart Broomer. Disk one contains a standard DVD of the concert, and the documentary Cleaning the Mirror, by John Rogers. The second disk, the one I played first, is a blue ray disk with full surround sound in Dolby 5.1. This came about as close to the experience I had in the concert hall in 2012 as one could hope for. Disk two also has a distinctive feature which allows the viewer to feature a particular musician, raising that performer's audio for closer study. Disk three is a standard CD with the concert audio.