|Leslie Dala - 12 March 2023
Walking with trombonist Jeremy Berkman after last night’s Yarilo concert at the Orpheum Annex, he asked me what I had come out after the experience.
My favourite Isolation Commission (#81) by Jeremy Berkman (inside an underground parking lot)
About the architecture of the Orpheum Annex & Pyatt Hall. Bingham and Hill Architects
I told him about the Bishop of Hippo, St. Augustine who had an interesting theory about music:
Augustine explained that when one listened to music one would hear a note in the past, listen to it in the present and predict the next note in the future. Of course we could state here that Augustine had no concept of atonal music.
And that is why I went to the fine three composer concert of very new music. I was not in my St. Augustine comfort zone at a concert of 19th century music at the Orpheum. At my ripe age of 80 I think I must still face challenges.
But I had a second reason for attending the concert with my graphic designer friend Graham Walker. Because he is Scottish he insists in pronouncing baroque “barock”. Going to a Yarilo concert on my own, even though I was sitting next to composer John Oliver, would be alienating. Going with a friend makes it palatable and fun.
That second reason was to watch and listen to my fave Vancouver pianist Jane Hayes treat her piano like the percussion instrument it is.
My joke as to why she was third in the program is that had she been earlier and demolished the piano, the other pianists would have been at a loss.
It was most pleasant to meet up (my first time) with Mexico City oboist Gerónimo Mendoza. Because I lived there for many years we are both what in Mexico they call chilangos (inhabitants of Mexico D.F.).
I took a few photographs of Leslie Dala with a slow shutter. I wanted to make him look like a humming bird. You see a humming bird and then you don’t. My belief is that few in his family can ever see him because of his busy schedule.
As a photographer I have always laughed at art speak. My program had the following on Giya Kancheli’s Valse Boston:
Allen Gimbal of the American Record Guide writes that “Valse Boston” revolves ( slowly) around a waltz topic, its trilled cadential figure adding a somnambulistic flavour to the the nightmarish proceedings. Again, the pensive soliloquy is often intensified by pounding clusters, but these passages grow out of the gray verdure like black weeds and seem to end up blending into the general darkness…” Iit has also been described as a surrealistic tableau of nostalgic melodies and blurred harmonies that are increasingly disrupted by violent clusters and strident tutti; these savage interruptions turn the piece’s atmospheric dream into a harsh and painful nightmare.”
Even the Bishop of Hippo would have a hard time understanding that.