Friday, March 04, 2011

Hair Envy, Alto Flutes and Fuschia Tights

Hours of creative activity achieved in last 24: 0.2
Watching: 'Winter's Bone' on Film 4 On Demand
Hair Day: Just shaved the side again in crazed stress-release... ahh, that's better...
Things I Can See From My Flat Window No. 9: The London Eye, a blurry deep blue

Had a lovely time at Nonclassical last night, where Gabriel and Rich took over Cargo for a special launch of Tansy Davies' new album, Trobairitz. I missed most of the first duo, Kamama, but caught their last piece, a lovely piece for two players and snare, where one half just hit a drumstick in the air in a constant pulse and the other manipulated snare and his hands to interact with that. Very spare and theatrical.

Playing Tansy's work from the album was an ensemble I haven't come across before, The Azalea Ensemble, all hailing from the Royal Academy or thereabouts. They tackled the jolty, sparsely quirky lines and off-kilter rhythms with fearless panache, and were noticeably committed - it's really nice to see a a group who looked so genuinely into the music. They are potentially a younger, hipper and more Londonish Bang On A Can All Stars. Moving to Cargo and with a slightly higher ticket price meant an attentive crowd, unlike some of the old Macbeth gigs with its distracting clackity pool-playing and brazen glass-bashing. The big-jangle-haired violinist, resplendent in fuschia tights, could even play a sublime set of Sciarrino Caprices to a hypnotised audience. Such gossamer-spun things of loveliness - punctuated by the East London line trains' thunder-bellies, like an duetting pianissimo bass drum part - I never did hear before. Check 'em out:

I had been drafted in to sing one little song, 'Greenhouses', standing in for Anna-juice who has recocrded this and more for the album. It all sailed a little close to the wind - I learnt it that day, rehearsed it briefly with two-thirds of the ensemble, met the alto flute player as we got onto the stage to perform it, that sort of thing... But I enjoyed it, it's the sort of contemporary song that suits me. More exciting than any of this was being introduced by Tansy to her hairdresser. Ha. Tansy's hair was looking so superfly that even being mistaken for her AGAIN somehow didn't ebb my mega hair-envy. I REALLY should have got his number...

Listen to Tansy's podcast for Nonclassical HERE!

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