21 January 2020

Baring souls

This was a wonderful, touching, personal concert featuring two wonderful, capable jazz-trained singers singing mostly their own compositions. Most singers in jazz are women. Not sure why but maybe the pitch fits. The higher pitches seem more honoured, the sopranos over the altos and the tenors over the basses (although I've noticed Jesus or respected prophets were often bass, at least in the baroque era). And many women sing of personal issues as if they own that space (they so often do, and I say that with respect and even awe). This was like that. Kristin speaking of her children, writing for them; Matilda writing of love tested and explored. Familiar territory for women, perhaps, too often unknown terrain for men. Now it shouldn't be that way and the essences of women and men shouldn't be profoundly different (under my second-wave feminist awareness) but they often are. Maybe we are surfing an interim level till we reach something higher. In the meantime, I guess it holds. But on the other side, it can be revealing and that may be just the thing of love songs and nothing to matter for unknown voices on the radio, but in people you know it may be a little too much to know. Again, maybe not for women who talk lots of many things, but for emotionally-simple blokes who just drink beer together. So the topics were profound and personal (not always - Kristin's "Full on the new" was just a delicious funky take on the excitement of visiting a new town). The singing all round was to die for: Kristin more embellished; Matilda more constant. Just fabulous, delicious, skilled and detailed and careful and correct and toneful. And the accompaniment was gloriously apt although very different. Kristin was sparse but wonderfully effective with piano-like chords on a tiny midi keyboard (the key size was a test!). Matilda used electronics more, adding a second (tinier) keyboard and Ableton or the like, so more orchestral. Both were a pleasure. We were surrounded by Matilda's family and friends for her visit gig from Berlin. I took a sojourning mate from Paris/Melbourne and he commented on how nice was the mix of ages. I like that too. We both liked the whole thing lots and lots.

Kristin Berardi (vocals) and Matilda Abraham (vocals) performed at Smiths.

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