Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sweet. Concordant. Strings


Bob Brashear ands Shakespeare ladies Milica Paranosic and Margaret Lnacaster

Steady rain. Stop into the Gate. Pick up a full large pan of Paul’s special shepherd’s pie and cab back to the church for Milica’s Composers’ Concordance concert, Sweet Concordant Strings. Music inspired by Shakespeare on the  450th anniversary of his birth.

A good house is growing.

Early on, there’s a steady stream of confused folks looking for Stephanie Johnstone’s performance piece in the upstairs gym. Such is West-Park.

It’s a true exposition of the wonderful diversity of what comcon is.

We hear:
1.     The electronic tape of Luening’s sound cues from Orson Wells’ King  Lear.
2.     Joseph Pehrson’s Tempest Fanfare.
3.     Dan Cooper’s Little Water Drops inspired by and dedicated to soprano Eleanor Taylor from the Rape of Lucrece.
4.     The passionate Seguiryas, rooted in flamenco blacksmith music, inspired by a passage of Julius Caesar. Dave Soldier’s composition, Thomas Bo’s interpretation. Singer. Guitar. Cajon. Orchestra.
5.     Back to Julius Caesar again. Dan Cooper’s quirky Ides of march, dedicated to his teacher and mentor, Edward H. Simpson.
6.     Franz Hackl’s expressive trumpet brings to life Gene Pritsker’s wordless expression of two sonnets. After which, who needs words? The trumpet said all there was to say..Except…only when you’ve heard Pritsker rap or his electronic beats or the all in bombast of his take on Brahms’ first can you fully appreciate the simple romantic melancholy of his piece like this with its piercing trumpet vocalization.
7.     Now from the magical Midsummer Night’s Dream, we get Dan Cooper’s Lullaby, from the catalogue of incidental music he produced for Tina Packer’s Berkshires institution Shakespeare and Company at the Mount. Cooper’s Lullaby shimmers and dances like fairies in the liminal space between day and night.
8.     David Gotay’s Nostalgia teases us with a tango while allowing the strings to milk the longing from Sonnet 30.
9.     Milica Paranosic and Margaret Lancaster are an intrepid dynamic duo. They push each other to new places. Daring. Dramatic. Scary. Their Lady M follows Ms. Macbeth through her offstage Act 3. The cumulative effect of her actions finally breaks her. And Margaret walks the tight rope between classical flutist and performance artist. Shatters the night with her scream. Rubs her hands that can never be clean again. And  finally snuffs out the candle. Leaving us in a hopeless darkness. These women are dangerous.
10. The night concludes with Karen Hakobyan’s Blow, blow thou winter winds with its appropriation of Armenian scale system woven throughout its language. And no, I can’t explain what I just said.

I can say that it’s an honor, but more  a pleasure, to welcome the comcon family to the petri dish, incubator and performance space that is West-Park where artists dare to push, expand and obliterate boundaries. The audience includes family, friends, new music professional peers and the occasional quasi-stalker fans that appear as if conjured from Shakespeare’s more fevered imagination. The shepherd’s pie and wine disappear fast.
The shepherd's pie will disappear soon.....
The after party will move on to the Gate where Irish pub manager and patron of the arts Paul will welcome all and West-Park’s resident radio cowboy character and shaman RL will charm Shakespeare’s ladies.

Sweet. Concordant. Strings.

1 comment:

  1. thank you for having us. always such a pleasure to be at wets park!