Sunday, May 26, 2013

Audience review - From the front row

For our concert on 21st May we asked 3 audience members to write short reviews of the concert for us. We didn't give them any guidance or constraints about what to write - just that we wanted to know what they thought/felt/liked/didn't like. Here's the first of the 3 reviews, the other 2 will follow in the next couple of days.

I wasn't sure at first that my front row seat at Tuesday night's Sounds Of The New event at The Forge in Camden was such a good idea, I had planned on a cosy seat at the back where I could relax, close my eyes and just listen to the music. But I soon realised I had one of the best seats in the house to appreciate all the finer details of the experience; the physicality of the instruments and the challenges of the music. Just inches away from the stage I was fascinated by the pianist's super-fast fingers and transfixed by every button and lever of the flute as both instrument and player were tested to the limit by a seriously complex score. And who knew that much saliva could come out of a french horn?

This was the second New Dots event I have been to and once again their clever formula of combining on-stage conversation between the composers and musicians along with world or UK premieres of their contemporary classical music worked brilliantly and provided much-needed context to the six works. I am possibly the least musical person I know but with help from New Dots I am finding enlightenment. Particular highlights were pieces by Emma-Ruth Richards, Yuko Ohara and Piers Tattersall dealing, respectively, with the tricky subjects of sex-slavery, the double helix structure of DNA and adulterous jealousy.

Emma-Ruth and Piers talking about their inspiration with Matt Downes

As is often the case with contemporary art, this is music which you might not want to have in your living room but which challenges you to think about important subjects in a new way. New Dots provides much-needed performance opportunities for emerging composers and musicians and a fantastic opportunity for everyone to experience the sounds of something very new indeed. Highly recommeded.

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