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Musical interlude

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We sat in a small but beautifully formed concert space in  the Venezuellan Embassy, Bolivar Hall.  The walls were smooth stark and white.  High ceilinged and  baffled in beige and brown waves of wood the hall felt light and spacious. Raked audience seats gave a comfortable and clear view of the stage.  The acoustic was perfect. Each touch of string or gentle stroke of brush against cymbal audible, the clear delicacy of the sound standing hairs on backs of necks. The gentle sounds from the Ghatam were clear, delicate and gave  sublte texture to the soft beguiling notes from Dario's fingers.

The hour long  programme encompassed original pieces by Dario and pieces grown from other musicians' works.

There was a section which stood out for me, though it was all magical.  The piece inspired by Dario's watching a film of a drive through the places where some of James Ellroy's dark crime fiction was set.  On that flimsiest of notions, the reminder to him of those novels, Dario and Magnus produced a startling soundscape of  mean streets in  downtown America.

The staccato harsh  beat slapped down gave a metallic snarl of the clash of aggressive cars, cruising and swerving off into the dark, shadowed buildings, street lights, steam billowing from underground vents, and figures lurking in murky corners, waiting for opportunities, watching for evidence, both furtive and fierce. That brusque deep rhythm held together by the rippling of the guitar notes and a high pitched drone/tone  kept the broken synchopated piece together as the pictures built in our minds.

Who knows if these pictures were in the minds of the two muscians, but this for me was aural impressionist painting. 

Now let me start reading James Ellroy and see if the pictures are there in his prose!

This was high art, where two people created an experience which took us with them to another place.  To witness this live in front of us, not on a screen, was a rare treat.   

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  1. (magnus_mehta@yahoo.com)

    thanks - great review!

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