Saturday, May 20, 2017

Recording: Krakowiak/Sorbara/Zurawinski

Artist: Tomasz Krakowiak/Joe Sorbara/Mark Zurawinski

Songs: Shapes + The Cymbal Speaks [composer: Germaine Liu]

Recorded at The Gardiner Museum (Salon 21: CeramiX), April 21, 2017.

Tomasz Krakowiak/Joe Sorbara/Mark Zurawinski - Shapes

Joe Sorbara - The Cymbal Speaks

This night, presented as part of Soundstreams' Salon 21 program involved collaboration and site-specific space usage in wonderfully-intriguing ways. Not only a collaboration between Germaine Liu (as composer) and three noteworthy local percussionists exploring her pieces, but the night was also a collaboration between Liu and ceramicist Chiho Tokita, whose purpose-built pottery served as instruments and a key part of Liu's creative process. The performance flowed between the three floors of the Gardiner Museum, beginning in the lobby with the cup-scraping "Shapes", and moving into the gallery for a solo performance (by Krakowiak) of the beautiful rings-traced-on-cymbal of "The Tree". The musicians led the crowd to the second floor with "Take Flight", an exercise in keeping a piece of tissue paper aloft by hand-generated breeze alone. (This would be reprised at night's end in a participatory segment after the Q & A).

On the second floor the pair explored "Handle Music", with Tokita's abstracted vases (sometimes containing their own ceramic flower stems) tapped and scratched by ceramic picks. A clapping game again led the crowd up the stairway where Joe Sorbara showed the variety of sounds to be found in a single cymbal (a very Liu-esque gesture of microscopic investigation) before the trio closed with the beautiful "Supper Time Us #2", appearing almost as marionettists, small ceramic picks dangling by wires from their fingers and striking a table full of vases — the symphony of plinking slowing down as Liu slowly moved the pieces away one by one.

[Thin Edge New Music Collective will be debuting more new music by Germaine Liu as part of their "Keys, Wind and Strings Festival", next Thursday (May 25th) at Array Space.]

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