Friday, April 15, 2016

Recording: The Science of What?

Artist: The Science of What?

Song: Who Am I [composer: Leonard Bernstein]

Recorded at The Music Gallery (Emergents III), April 8, 2016.

The Science of What? - Who Am I

Alex Samaras has one of the city's most beautiful singing voices, so anyone he chose to spotlight for that talent at a show he was curating is definitely worth taking note of. In fact, it turned out that I had heard Jessica Chen sing a couple months back as a standout member of the Humber Composers Collective at the Somewhere There Festival. But when joined only by guitarist Justin Orok, there was even more room for her voice to shine. The pair tackled an intriguing range of material, from standards to Messiaen to the showtune heard here from the stage version of Peter Pan with music by Leonard Bernstein (Chen noted her rendition owed a heavy debt to Nine Simone's interpretation). Orok's contributions ranged from unnderstated accompaniment to some noisier abstracted textures on an "out" interpretation of "Someone To Watch Over Me". Technically accomplished but not too precious about their material (they've tackled Elliot Smith and Thom Yorke on stage alongside their own original material), this is recommended to local fans of, say, Thom Gill and Felicity Williams-styled sophisto-pop.

[This year's Emergents series concludes on Thursday, May 26th. Curated by Ben Dietschi, the night will match the Kiri Koto Ensemble with a set of music performed on Boomwhackers (yes, those plastic tubed people band together at sporting events).]

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