Also subtitled The Electric Clarinet, composer, conductor and musician Matthew Whiteside’s second event in the series features musician Joanna Nicholson on clarinet, accompanied by Whiteside on electronics.
The charismatic pair may have a couple of tech problems, but that aside, it’s a massive success. The programme is a rich and varied collection of music, ranging from the playful flutter of Consonances by Romanian composer Lina Alexandra, to Whiteside’s own compositions, Three Pieces For Bass Clarinet and Electronics which have real bite, through dubby effects and dark, spectral moods.
Nicholson is an endearing presence, and her fluid, expressive playing seems effortless. The GP Telemann compositions Fantasias No 2 and 7 are more traditional, even whimsical, but Wayne Siegel’s quirky Jackdaw hits an almost Steve Reich like hypnotic groove, throbbing and thrumming with occasional washes of sound and the cawing of jackdaws.
Monty Adkins’ Permutations is a striking closer- a beautiful and layered piece which is as Nicholson describes, “constructed like a Japanese painting”. It’s an intricate sound which builds in momentum, ebbing and flowing until it just seems to float away.Gorgeous. Whiteside has promised the next show will return in 2017, so here’s hoping.
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