Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Sound of Two Marimbists and Clapping

RM: Nothing. Just the sounds of Centre St. at 10pm. I received the obligatory "Run Forrest, Run!" from some lively youngsters. I responded by giving the Rocky victory stance, both arms raised while continuing on my way. They responded "Yay!" It was a little odd to hear "Yay" coming from teenagers in this part of town. By the way, Centre St at 10pm is remarkably calm. Many cars, people, and sound, but still calm.

Saw a concert tonight over at the Boston Conservatory. It was a part of the Zeltsman Marimba Festival, which is apparently taking place all this week. The first half consisted of Mike Truesdell, who is apparently a Junior at Lawrence University. He played very well for an undergraduate, but was nothing too exciting. It was nice to see a young player active in adding to his instrument's repertoire (this concert included two of his own arrangements), but the pieces weren't that interesting in the first place. He played everything very competently.

The second half was considerable more interesting. Eriko Daimo, from her bio in the program, seems to have quite the background in Japanese competition circuit. It looks as if she's won everything in Japan at least once. Perhaps she should try for the lottery after that success...

That's not to say that her wins were luck. In fact, she's a fantastic player and a very good musician. She played only one piece that was originally written for another instrument, the Bach Prelude in E Major from Book I. Everything else seemed to take full advantage of the particular strengths of the instrument. Of particular note: Kazunori Miyake's Chain, Toshi Ichiyanagi's The Source, and Minoru Miki's Marimba Spiritual.

Miki's piece was the last on the program and was fantastic (although the Miyake and Ichiyanagi were perhaps better music). Daimo had three other percussionists (Mike Williams, Jeffrey Means, and Yuko Yoshikawa), who all played well, join her for what turned out to be quite the rousing piece. The opening requiem actually help my interest, despite walking close to the edge of being damned hippy music. The final music was an evocation of traditional japanese drumming and was plenty exciting. I'm not usually one for yelling onstage, but it came off here. Actually, it would have been a bit more effective had the percussionists accompanying Daimo whooped with a bit more abandon. Really quite an effective piece and well played. This Daimo character sure knows what the hell she's doing with a marimba. If the whole week's concerts are going to be like that, I may catch another one.

You can catch these concerts for $10 if you want. If you're into that kind of stuff, check out their website at http://www.zmf.us (I swear to god, though. If a drum circle starts, I may have to pull the fire alarm.)

1 Comments:

Blogger Marie said...

Plug.

7/24/2006 02:42:00 PM  

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