15 October 2007


Concert tonight, not a symphony. I think a symphony would have put me to sleep, unless it chose extremely lively numbers. No, this was a British group called Zum. There's a pianist, cellist, violinist, accordion player and double bass player. Very lively, entertaining group, capable of utilizing their instruments in very creative and unusual ways. For instance, they have no drummer, so quite often they use their instruments as drums. Also, I never knew it was possible to make a cricket sound using a violin, or to play a cello like a guitar, or a violin like a ukulele. Quite entertaining. And, yes, they can also play them in a "normal," classical manner. For the most part, they trade melodies freely between the instruments, though the bass player only had one turn at the melody, and that was on the last scheduled song. I can't recall ever hearing a melody played on a double bass before.

The flavor, overall, is of Irish gig, but the music isn't predominantly Irish; that was just the feel. There was one Irish jig, in fact, and several tangoes, a Hungarian salsa tango ragtime, a many-many-genred piece that managed to get a folksy American guitarish twang out of the cello in one spot, some gypsy music... Some of almost everything, really. No rock that I can think of, but quite frankly, lively violin is so much more energizing than rock. For me, at least. Anyway, I bought one of their CD's at intermission, Inferno, that looked like it was mostly a collection of the livelier pieces.

The only parts that I didn't quite care for involved über-smooth jazz, which I've never cared for. It's all tone-on-tone blues, purples and blacks and just gives me a headache. However, it never lasted for long, as they rarely stay within a single genre on any given song. So I'd say I enjoyed 90-95% of the music.

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