…and I don’t mean Christmas! It’s that time of year again when there are about 7 events every week that I want to get to but there’s not a hope in hell of making them all. Silly season.
Last night I was treated to Icebreaker in the NCH and it was so wonderful! The Glass was relentless and forced my mind away from it’s regular spinning after a long day at work, but the Eno… Icebreaker played Brian Eno’s Apollo with visuals, commissioned with the music by the Science Museum in the UK, from the original Apollo flight to the moon. It was incredible. An intensely emotional experience. I found I was holding my breath watching stills of the astronauts boarding the shuttle. The music combined with the images brought home to me the sheer scale of the endeavor. It was so much bigger than they were as individuals. Later in the performance, as the visuals showed footage of the travelers bouncing around in low gravity on the moon, the music mimicked the delight they obviously felt at this incredible experience. i can’t understand why the NCH only ran it for one night, it was sold out and many people I know didn’t attend and were disappointed to find it sold out.
Tonight (Wed) I ran to the NCH again after work and just made it to the first of the CMC’s 2010 Salon Series. ConTempo Quartet performed two works – Pas de Quatre by Rhona Clarke with visuals by Marie Hanlon, and entropy by Gráinne Mulvey. If you can make it to next Wed (17 Nov) Series please do, there are so many wonderful things about these performances. What stands out most for me is that they form an access point for new/contemporary music. The opportunity to have the composer speak about the piece and their inspirations for the piece beforehand, the conversation with the performers and the chance to ask questions just go so far to allow an understanding of the work that a novice listener (such as myself) would be otherwise missing.
One of the most beautiful moments for me this evening was when cellist Adrian Mantu was speaking about the different between performing the work living and non-living composers. Mantu said, “”Oh, we played forte instead of mezzoforte, Beethoven is going to kill us!”. Well, maybe, or maybe not, but we don’t have his phone number to check.”
And (as a Belgian once famously said) from the donkey to the rooster – I rounded off this evening in the Sugar Club watching a documentary film about the New York gypsy-folk band Gogol Bordello. That was an experience like no other. The film itself is so full of the manic energy of immigrant gypsies living in New York that I’m not sure I’d be able for the live performance. But if I get a chance, I’ll definitely be there. Centering on lead singer Eugene Hutz, the band is a wild mix of nationalities, musical styles and ages that somehow just about comes together under the direction of Hutz. They’re playing next week in Dublin and Belfast and I’d love to see them but I think the tix are just out of my price range. Have a listen to Immigrant Punk here. If you can go, please do and bring me back a souvenir!