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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : July 23 2008
44 INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, July 24, 2008 ARTS www.innerwestweekly.com.au Scenes from a marriage CONCERT: The Red Tree with the ACO and Gondwana Voices WHERE: City Recital Hall WHEN: Wednesday, July 16 REVIEWER: Steve Moffatt Two illustrations from The Red Tree and the strange, daunting world of Shaun Tan. AUTHOR and illustrator Shaun Tan took the saying ''a picture is worth a thousand words'' to its ultimate conclusion in his ''graphic novel'' about migration The Arrival. There are 1000 pencil-on-paper drawings and not a single word and the four-year project caused a sensation when it was published last year. Tan creates a strange, daunting world where the near-familiar collides with the bizarre. The sepia imagery is that of the early years of the 20th century photography and some of the drawings could have stepped right out of Frank Hurley's Great War plates or stills from Charlie Chaplain's The Immigrant. The world on the other side of the ocean, however, evokes the strange and hellish creatures of Bosch or Breughel, the tricky perspectives of M.C. Escher and the juxtapositions of the surrealists. ACO artistic director Richard Tognetti had the inspired idea of marrying Tan's images with Shostakovich's remorselessly bleak final string quartet to make up the first half of this concert. And profoundly moving and beautiful it was too. The orchestra was in top form, both in the ensemble passages and as a quartet, with violist Christopher Moore and cellist Timo-Veikko Valve both brilliant in the long solo passages. Tan's other masterpiece, The Red Tree, was the backdrop for the second work, jointly composed by Michael Yezerski and Tognetti. Yezerski is well-known for his soundtracks for the movies The Black Balloon and Kenny and had worked with Tognetti on a surf film. The Gondwana Voices are the key to this 40-minute work with its libretto in a strange mishmash of Hebrew, Finnish and English (surely a first!). Tan says of his book that it exploits metaphor and ''shared imagination'' and Yezerski creates his own ''collage'' of sounds by referring to Gregorian chant and folk influences. Throughout the work there's an interesting flow between dissonant and consonant passages. The choir are fantastic with some lovely soloists. Director and conductor Lyn Williams believes in encouraging interaction and her young charges were a vital part of the creative process behind this work. It's also so refreshing to hear a contemporary composition that challenges a children's choir -- so often they're expected to look cute and sing in boring unison. The concert will be repeated tomorrow at the City Recital Hall at 8pm and on Sunday at the Opera House at 2.20pm. Bookings on 1800 444 444 or go to aco.com.au Steinways to heaven CONCERT: Simon Tedeschi and Kevin Hunt WHERE: The Basement WHEN: Tuesday, July 15 REVIEWER: Steve Moffatt OUTSIDE at Circular Quay there may have been streams of red-and-yellow clad pilgrims wandering around looking like elated Spanish soccer fans but inside the Basement the spirit was no less inspirational when Kevin Hunt and Simon Tedeschi launched into a vamping version of Oscar Peterson's Hymn To Freedom. It was a night when two of our finest pianists from the realms of jazz and classical musical had a Steinway standoff, their facial expressions mirroring their delight as they fired off each other in a clever combination of prepared arrangements and good old-fashioned jamming. Billed as ''I want to play like him'', the emphasis was on the merging of the two genres and what better place to start than with Maurice Ravel and a sensitive but not over-reverent reworking of his Mother Goose Suite. Hunt and Tedeschi took alternating leads in this 10-minute duet, as they were to for the rest of the bracket. Having set the scene in the concert hall Hunt swiftly moved the scene to the dance floor with a clever morph of Gershwin's Fascinating Rhythm into I Got Rhythm, which left us all wondering ''who could ask for anything more?'' But wait, there was plenty more to come with Hunt's Buenas Dias, written on a tour to Argentina with Don Burrows, in which he manages to evoke blue skies and gauchos as well as edgy tango dancers in steamy slums. Another Hunt composition, Woodlands, which builds from a quiet opening over gently rocking and hesistant rhythms to a triumphant crescendo, led perfectly into the set closer, a medley from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. Tedeschi, who now lives in Boston, relished the informal atmosphere of the jazz club as he and Hunt swapped solos and stories (they first met on a tour with the great harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler). Maria gave way to Jet Song and by the time they got to the exciting cross-rhythms of The Rumble Hunt and Tedeschi were really cooking with gas. But it was Peterson's ''hymn'' -- a joyful celebration of gospel, boogie, stride and blues -- which seemed the most apposite for these times. As Tedeschi quipped: ''We're going to church now.'' M otor vehicles AT BURWOOD A1 CASH FOR CARS VANS TRUCKS AND 100% FREE QUICK FAST PICK-UP CALL 0439 333 444 ALL AREAS 24/7 AAA CASH for unwanted cars up to $1000. 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July 16 2008
July 30 2008