10 November 2007

Wordless Music Series

Last night I saw three performances. The first was Torngat, a three piece French horn /keys /drums /electronic band with a ton of beautiful energy. Then came Jihyun Kim, a classically-trained cellist. She adeptly played two songs (by Bach and Gyorgy Ligeti), each with many movements. It was amazing. I always love the bodily posture of classically-trained musicians. Finally came what I most wanted to see - a much-loved Icelandic band called Múm. They were phenomenal.

Now I get to tell you about the cool part. They played in the Church of St. Paul the Apostle. I walked in expecting a church and got a cathedral.

The concert was part of the Wordless Music Series, which tries to break down the lines and distinctions between music genre labels to show people that electronic, jazz and indie rock music have a lot more in common with classical music than one might think. One result of juxtaposing these performers together is that lovers of all types of music are brought together as well to hear each other's languages and experience the blending and merging of not - so - different - after - all music. The church was one of the "intimate settings" they describe as illustrating the continuity in music styles.

Can you imagine what the acoustics were like? It was that, heightened. This architecture combined with the lighting, said acoustics, the temperature (cold) and the performances added up to an explosion.

The above photo illustrates how the whole thing felt and sounded to me. More white and less blue though. My mild synaesthesia really kicked in last night. I had never heard white before, so that was stupendous. Múm opened with Slow Bicycle, closed with I'm 9 Today and played Guilty Rocks in the middle. It was very powerful, and the girl with the white hair "had a voice like a siren" (Daniela's boyfriend Steve said that and was dead on). The ambassador of Iceland and his wife were there.

Here is the schedule of Wordless Music Series events; there are a few more left and I highly recommend going to these. You'll leave inspired.

[photos by Sterling]
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