counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

May 13th, 2008: Jean-François Pauvros & Makoto Kawabata

@les voutes

Just two guys on guitar, Jean-François Pauvros and Makoto Kawabata, but that was plenty. No opening act, but they did several sets. I don’t know how many, having left before the end of the third to catch the last train home. I was surprised there were not more people in attendance, I expected a packed venue but that was not the case. These are big names, and Kokeko have put together consistently good gigs in the past, my only gripe being there have been too few or these; or maybe they’re not great at spreading the news and I just missed many others.

The first set lasted close to an hour and was the least interesting for me. It was too close to what I was expecting, especially in the beginning, with Pauvros going with clear sounding notes and Kawabata going with a typically spaced-out sound. Well done, of course, but no surprise there. Actually there was some reversal of that towards the middle of that set, and Kawabata’s use of a bow put something of a twist into it at times. A lot of that set was played loud, which was appropriate. The music was still interesting, as they complemented each other well. A bit predictable, but still a musical trip into imaginary landscapes that doesn’t come so often. I would have liked them not to settle for so long into each sequence, but that did bring some hypnotic quality.

The second set was my favorite, beginning with Kawabata using a Tibetan bowl just in front of his guitar and Pauvros starting with a bow — his guitar sounding celloish. Kawabata eventually switching to a bow as well. Probably the quietest set overall, it was a fascinating affair, with my favorite part being the not so quite moments when Pauvros introduced some rhythmic patterns by banging on his instrument. Here it was not what I expected, which was just satisfying, while retaining the exploratory nature of the first set.

The third one alternated loud and hectic parts with quiet yet not subdued ones, and the long-term structure that was unfolding was great. The louder parts were a bit confusing at first but sometimes I could make out changes within; though sometimes I didn’t really hear more than a raging storm — nothing to sneeze at. I was not a happy camper about leaving before it reached its conclusion, but my fear of a two-to-three hour long ordeal to get back home drove me away — I’m getting good at this, as I ended up having all of thirty seconds to spare.

Hopefully I’ll get more news about the end of the set — I left after thirty five minutes, so I might have missed fifteen more judging from the previous ones — and whether they went for the rumored fourth one after that. I might be able to get a recording, but experiencing it is so much better that I’m not even interested. I might have stayed nonetheless, part of what made me tune out was the hollering guy next to me whose struggles with gravity were made more ominous by his ample beer supply. I just was afraid of getting soaked, not being judgmental; I really would be a poorly qualified judge, I’ve been there myself.

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May 15, 2008 - Posted by | Music | , , ,

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