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Bebop Spoken There

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Vyamnikal @ The Egdirb (Bridge) March 12

Kit Downes (Harmonium); Tom Challenger (Tenor Saxophone)
(Review by Steve H/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew) 
The evening began with Kit Downes introducing The ’Vyamnikal’ project. To summarise, the project ran from October 2014; it involved Kit and Tom travelling to local Suffolk churches and improvising with the acoustics of the building and the assorted organs in whatever state of repair they happened to be in. After a year, the duo had accumulated 40 hours of recordings and this has been edited down to 1 hour to produce a new CD. To keep things real, the pair decide to play The Bridge venue ‘back to front’ so that the instrumentalists were in front of the bar at the back of the room meaning the audience were facing the rear of the room with the stage behind them now being used for additional seating. Although disorientating at first, I actually think this about turn added to the atmosphere of the proceedings.

The combination of the harmonium and saxophone created a spooky effect which I can imagine if played in an empty church could become quite creepy. The music is dark and ambient with the occasional light melodious flourish by Challenger on saxophone. Downes also played a homemade instrument which seemed to comprise of the just the neck of a cello.  At some point during the performance, I think most of the audience had definitely slipped into ‘the zone’ to a greater or lesser extent. At the completion of their very well received set, the charming pair engaged in a very enthusiastic Q&A. Maybe as a show of their appreciation for the keen audience interest, or maybe as a way to shut people up, the duo performed one more piece as an encore to complete a fascinating evening.

Steve H

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Ecin weiver!
CJ

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