Gigs, dance, art

April 2nd, 2010: Cathy Heyden – Olivier Bartissol / Audrey Chen / Christine Sehnaoui – Ferran Fages – Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga / Erik Minkkinen

@espace en cours

I’ve heard Erik Minkkinen so many times over the past few years that I always expect his stuff to feel stale, but it usually doesn’t. Granted, the two guitars on a table pretty much clued me into what he would sound like, but he’s so good at it that I didn’t mind. The sound took over that small place and I was grateful for the guidance, being so exhausted I was afraid I would end up nodding off. That was never close to happening, not because it was loud, but because it was changing.

That jolt probably made me better suited for the trio of Christine Sehnaoui, Ferran Fages and Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga. I had some trouble with this set. I thought it didn’t really take off, with almost too much listening and respect at work, so that I thought it was more each of them taking control, with not enough interaction. That played right into what I’m coming to dislike about extended technique playing, a focus on sounds that sometimes fails to make good use of those. It did come together along the way, and the end of the set was nice. The zither was unusual, and that got my attention, which was then sustained by the very nice use of e-bows and predictable but still cool restraining of the strings. The guitar was just too predictable for me, and I’m just so familiar with Sehnaoui’s sound that I expect more. This could turn out to be a great trio with more mileage, but I think it was a bit early. Unfortunately I don’t expect to get another opportunity to hear them, it’s par for the course in this scene.

The reason I showed up — there were a bunch of other cool gigs that day — was to hear Audrey Chen doing a solo set. I’m so glad I did, this was a great set, diverse and engaging throughout. She started with some electronics and more in the extended technique mold, both on cello and voice, and ended with a more regular play and singing actual words. In between it was a progression that never stayed put too long, but she took the time to develop each part. So the set featured less different uses of her instruments than the other times I saw her, but I liked it more. Her bowing the body of the cello was a highlight, but not by much, I liked each part almost as much. I did wish the set had been longer, but it did feel like it had run its course when it stopped, I had a sense she had been going through places with a definite sense of where she wanted to go, and she nailed it just right. Maybe an encore wouldn’t have been enough, I’m already looking forward to hearing her again, on her own or with others. Abattoir would be nice, but I guess anything else would be too.

The last set had Cathy Heyden playing with various objects — many cooking related — and Olivier Bartissol playing metal folding music stands, bowing at first then folding and unfolding them. That was nice at first, but I thought it ran too long, and got just too predictable quickly. It felt long, and it looked like Heyden had a longer list of things she wanted to use while Bartissol had to go over the same things a little too much. The end of the set was nice too, but the middle was a little boring.


April 12, 2010 - Posted by | Music | , , , , , , ,

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