Sunday’s performance of “For Philip Guston,” the composer Morton Feldman’s eulogy for the abstract expressionist painter, will be a rarity. At four and a half hours, the performance requires not only extraordinary patience from the audience but remarkable stamina from the musicians: Claire Chase (flute and piccolo), Steven Schick (percussion), and Sarah Rothenberg (piano). But consider the return. “Musical events unfold over a slow sense of time, and in the course of listening to the piece, and playing it, our own way of experiencing time shifts,” said Rothenberg, who is the artistic director of Da Camera, the host organization. “This is what makes it magical and, for some, a life-changing experience.” Each member of the trio plays constantly for the duration of the 102-page score, which was written thirty years ago. The performers will prepare by rehearsing at least six hours a day for three days, and without playing the piece in its entirety. Audience members are welcome to come and go throughout the program, but they will want to be present for the conclusion. “The last pages of the score are absolutely synchronized and take a lot of concentration,” Rothenberg said. “I imagine that arriving at those final pages brings a state of quiet ecstasy, but I won’t know for sure what it feels like until we perform the work on Sunday.”
The Rothko Chapel, Nov. 2, 1 p.m., dacamera.com
The Circuit of the Americas, the racetrack built in 2012, will host the Formula One United States Grand Prix race for a third year. The Texans (and other Americans) who have attended in previous years are more knowledgeable about this largely European motor sport, and likewise, the Europeans who have attended know more of Austin customs like barbecue, breakfast tacos, and live music. Thus there is likely to be greater synergy among the fans, and the race, which drew a quarter of a million people last year, will perhaps be embraced by even those who are tired of large events taking over Austin. In addition to festivities at the track, including a Kid Rock concert on Sunday night, a Fan Fest will be held downtown, with scores of bands, experiential exhibits, and racecar displays highlighted by the 1977 Evel Knievel Special #98 Offy IndyCar.
Circuit of the Americas, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, circuitoftheamericas.com
Stars and Stripes
War is a wellspring from which cinema draws inspiration, often resulting in great emotion from its audiences. War movies can bring people to the edge of their seats with action, like that in “Black Hawk Down,” Ridley Scott’s chronicle of a 1993 battle in Mogadishu, Somalia. War movies can draw tears, as in “Saving Private Ryan,” Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning depiction of the invasion of Normandy in World War II. And they can make people laugh, as does “Stripes,” Ivan Reitman’s vehicle for Bill Murray to act like a goofball in fatigues. These and ten other movies will be screened for the inaugural Stars and Stripes Film Festival, with proceeds benefiting Sons of the Flag, a Dallas nonprofit supporting military service members, emergency medical workers, and civilians who have survived burn injuries.
Angelika Film Center, Nov. 6-9, sonsoftheflag.org
The Lone Star Rally is one of the largest motorcycle festivals in the United States. It is also the last major rally of the year, which means many weekend warriors will be tuning up their rides for one final turn as part of the gang, and that many hard-core bikers to return to their old stamping grounds. (Don Chambers founded the Bandidos, the infamous outlaw motorcycle gang, in the sixties in nearby San Leon.) Commonalities are likely to be found among enthusiasts of all types during events like the Outlaw Dave’s Ranch Ride, which benefits a ranch for abused children and animals.
Various locations, Nov. 6-9, lonestarrally.com
“Isle of the Dead,” a painting by the Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin, is a highly influential piece thought to depict Charon carrying souls to the afterlife on the River Styx. The latest to be inspired by the painting is the Bruce High Quality Foundation, a Brooklyn artists collective whose exhibit “Isles of the Dead” includes silk-screen outtakes along with a record player, afloat in water, broadcasting Rachmaninoff’s 1909 composition, “Isle of the Dead.”
McClain Gallery, Oct. 31-Dec. 6, mcclaingallery.com
Grateful for the Dead
In Mexican culture, death is a beautiful thing. See this reverence on display at the Dia de los Muertos event at historic La Villita, where the altar contest, featuring colorful homages full of candles, marigolds, incense, food, photos of the deceased, and other offerings, will channel fond remembrances.
La Villita, Nov. 1 at 10 a.m. and Nov. 2 at 1 p.m., muertosfest.com