Sunday, April 01, 2007

I took a taxi downtown in a frantic rush

I took a taxi downtown in a frantic rush, hoping to make the 8pm start time of a concert by Ora Cogan. But when I arrive, the bartender informs me that it begins two hours later. Rats! And only recently was I lamenting how little time there was in a day - alas, here I am, several dollars and two hours short. And I have not even read my feeds for the day. Panic sets in.

Or not. Perhaps I shall use these two hours to read my "Letters of E.B. White" conveniently stowed in my knapsack. Or wander about Cook Street, a part of town I rarely visit.

* * *

OK, I'm now in the performance area of Logan's Pub, a welcome change from the biting cold Canadian air outside. On the stage is an acoustic guitar, a small orange speaker at which is pointed a microphone, and a viola case containing its instrument. The room is dark, and I can't make out my E.B. White without straining my eyes, though I suppose I could use my PDA for illumination. Pulsating accelerating music emanates from the multitudinous amplifiers around the room. There are conversations to the left of me, conversations behind me, conversations far away.

The stage is decorated with rainbow Christmas lights and a backdrop of black cloth.Flashes of light to the left of me - laughing women are taking photographs.

There are four main spotlights. Two microphones, one a quarter-foot above the other, stand at the edge of the stage.

* * *

It was either this concert or the symphony - I thought this would be more fun (though the Rite of Spring would have been an experience).

* * *

It is late for me (10pm) and the concert promises to be long. I steel myself for the experience. I will ned to stand up periodically.

* * *

Opening act. En francais. Blue guitar. Drone. Pentatonic vocals. Capo. New strings. Percussive taps - ripple / fingertips; close to the bridge; syncopation; Joan Baez; suspended chords; back of the voice; scoops; evocative, provocative lyrics, spelled;.

Song "for people from the west coast" - partly en francais - rapid - alternating bass/treble strings; banjolike - staying on a dissonant note; artificial echo; "I am a sea anemone I am a sea anemone" - fade and down.

Syncopation; open tuning? Syncophony; unison; chorale; high frets; pulsating - using the natural pitches of the three bass strings. Folk; blues. Ends with "It's sharp and it's beautiful; it's sharp and it's broken too." Major notes on a minor chord.

* * *

Anni Rossi and Ron Hunt. A buffoonish piece. Rossi has a virtuostic, smooth voice with a drawl - jumping from melody to harmony. Refrain "Stand by your man."

Rossi is into experimental music and pop; I think she's playing with the comedic genre. The guitar background she plays is with the pick at the centre of the guitar, with buffoonic bending.

Anni picks up her viola. She speaks hesitatingly and quietly, but sings forcibly. She plucks chords on her viola - double-stops. Floor must be amplified - her stomping is quite sharp. Music stops abruptly, as is her signature.

Back of the violin comes loose - she asks for "tape".

Violent bowing (and singing at the same time), overpressure; harmonics; underpressure; hitting viola with bow; pizzicato; random interruptions of amplified scratching; random punctuating shrieks and shrills.

Guitar position, arpeggiated, quoting "round here" but with the melody bent out of shape; hitting strings with wood of bow; strumming in both directions; Lisa-Loeb-like stream-of-consciousness; interesting rotary bow motion - organ-grinder-like harmonics bowing at front and back of fretboard.

Syncopated jambalaya piece - some interesting double-handed percussion in the standard violist position. Occasional catty shrills.

A cough.

Bass and chord, bending up. A percussively spoken "interstate". Bridge: plucked arpeggios (5/4?). Legato. Speaksinging (vocalizations).


Long, drawn-out strokes, harmonics. Pace picks up a bit. Heavily plucked march. "In an anticipation".

Ends with her trademark song, "To be a beekeeper in the Himalayas". With stomping!

Ora Cogan takes the stage. A melancholy song, "Where's my lover now." Open chords, bit of a gypsy scale / pentatonic.

7th chords and unusual melodic wending - avoiding the diatonicity. C F Bb. Quaver in the voice.

Daisy - 7ths, 9ths, 11ths, trills, lilts, and some neat exotic chords.

Another signature song. "Nobody's going to steel the stars from your sky." A laid back disposition. Two-string drone with dissonant walking bass.

Duet with Cogan and Rossi. Rossi adds some harmonies. It's an ambient piece with

New song now, mandolin-like - from high-fretted notes. Rossi plucks the viola like a bass - draws out drones. Syncopation, and a riff.

Final song. Ora on the violin; Anni on vocals. Gypsy melody, with a bit of a Frankensteinish turn to it. It's her "Motherless Child" song, backed by her galloping pizzicato.

Encore. 12-bar.


At 7/15/2007 2:14 p.m., Blogger nany said...

oi pow deixa um comentário lá pra mim....


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