11 May 2015

Revelations aplenty

Revelation is a word I find I'm using frequently for this CIMF. Sadly I've attended too little due to conflicts, but what I've attended has been rich with the modern and somewhat unexpected. Movers and shakers was all contemporary and a great mix of styles. Two of four composers were not just contemporary but in attendance. The gig started with Brian Howard Full fathom five. Amusingly I sing FFF in a choir, but nothing like this version. This was scored for 15 players; a thrilling and powerful 2-feel; swelling notes and sudden stops (reversed envelopes); tones moving throughout; notable trombone and explosive bass drums. Apparently it's written in response to Jackson Pollock's response to Shakespeare. Next was our late local master, Peter Sculthorpe Island songs for saxophone and ensemble. This was two movements with Amy Dickson featuring on soprano and alto sax. More expansive than FFF, meditative, strings and sax interspersed with various percussion and the sounds of seagulls (sliding cello harmonics) and other (sliding violin harmonics). I felt hope and satisfaction and survival and a sense of location. Kate Moore Velvet followed as a cello/piano duet played by Roland Peelman and Geoffrey Gartner. It's described as a response to flowing garments and cloth in the paintings of Leonardo and others. It's a beautiful subject, all draped opulence and on canvas so real. The image was vivid. Firstly 5/4 broken 3-2 displaying free folds and falls of fabric. Then perhaps into 6 feel and perhaps 3 and a response to the emotions of the paintings and a delicate insistence. To finish, a famed work of minimalism, John Adams Shaker loops for strings. Four movements, intense, incessant despite dynamics, 4s and 2s, and even a feeling of trains (not sure I should hear trains!). Again, this was a survey of some excellent and inventive music over various contemporary styles and so well played. Look for it on ABCFM as a live concert: they were recording.

The composers were Brian Howard, Peter Sculthorpe, Kate Moore and John Adams. The performers were Amy Dickson (sax), Geoffrey Gartner (cello), Roland Peelman (piano, conductor), New Zealand String Quartet comprising Helen Pohl (violin), Douglas Beilman (violin), Gillian Ansell (viola) and Rolf Gjelsten (cello), Tinalley String Quartet comprising Eoin Andrerson (violin)Lerida Delbridge (violin), Justin Williams (viola) and Michelle Woods (cello) and Barbara Jane Gilby (violin), Anne Horton (violin) and the YAFF String Players comprising Emmanuel Cassimatis (oboe), Amy White (clarinet), Christopher Martin (bassoon), Ros Jorgensen and Nigel Croker (trombones), Gergele Malyusz (horn), Leanne Sullivan (trumpet), Kyle Daniel (double bass), Jim Nightingale (sax) and Claire Edwardes and Bree van Reyk (percussion).

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