Australian Sound Artist

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Looking for Cowslips

:: Looking for Cowslips - live performance @ the Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre ::

The final evenings performance for Mira Calix included compositions from British composers Tansy Davies, Larry Groves and Emily Hall. I was not familiar with any of their work but will be keeping my third eye and ear attuned in the future, as I enjoyed and was intrigued by their various approaches in composition. 

By far the piece that shone on the night (in my memories) was 'Wedding List' (Calix) from the contemporary opera piece, 'Dead Wedding'. During rehearsals it did not particularly register with me and yet as the night at the Salon pulled you closer, it rose to the point of becoming a modest yet ideal example of the elements that Calix brings together for her work in contemporary classical/electronic composition. 

Musicians for this piece were:

Zoe Knighton - Cello
Anna Webb - Viola
Aviva Endean - Clarinet
Lotte Betts-Dean - Soprano
Mira Calix - Electronics

Together they generated a sweetness in the air that began with a coy shyness between soprano and clarinet. Timid refrains created a melodic conversation between the two, to be joined by quieter chanting voices and delicate electronics in their sonic background. The piece builds and it's musical elements lose their inhibitions, expressing a release of the emotion 'Love'. It becomes harder to differentiate between the electronic sounds, soprano and strings. Vocals, strings and electronics swirl, layer upon layer, bonding to create a pocket of warmth that you are fortunate enough to be existing in, as they inspire and act as catalyst to the atmosphere growing around them.

At the finish of this piece I believe I became, 'stuck'.
It's lingering impression and mood was such that I could not wholeheartedly focus on those that followed, as my heart was still with, 'Wedding List'.