Live performance evaluate | The Silakbo Ensemble: Merging cultures collectively

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On November 2, the Silakbo Ensemble launched its Canadian tour with a primary cease in Montreal, at Jeunesses Musicales Canada’s Joseph-Rouleau Corridor. Shaped by  three Bulgarian musicians (Angelina Gotcheva, clarinet, Yoanna Bozhkova, soprano, Bogdan Ivanov, piano), Portuguese violinist Edgar Gomes and Filipino American cellist Mikko Pablo, this quintet was joined exceptionally by Adam Vincent Clarke, composer and piper pleased with his Nova Scotia roots. Collectively they introduced their newest venture, named Est-Ouest. Greater than a gathering, it’s an alternate, an interconnection, between the Canadian and Bulgarian musical cultures.

As a part of this venture, three creations commissioned by the Silakbo ensemble had been carried out. The primary, Grains by Canadian composer Liam Elliot, drew on the repertoire of Bulgarian dances and songs. The impression we had been left with from this music in 7 actions was that of an echo to a protracted custom and to an ancestral territory. Yoanna Bozhkova started with a buzzing earlier than singing in her full voice, thus setting the tone for what was to be heard. Liam Elliot’s alternative of textures appeared to recommend the good landscapes. This was evidenced by the brushed enjoying of the clarinet and cello, particularly within the finale, which appropriately imitated the wind blowing throughout the plains. Additionally noteworthy is the unusual use of the piano as a guitar within the motion “Shadow 3” (Biala roza). Leaning over the soundboard, Bogdan Ivanov produced a dry timbre by plucking the strings together with his fingers.

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The second work on this system, Photographs, was by Bulgarian composer Svetlin Hristov and featured, in return, echoes of conventional Canadian music. A number of the sung texts included passages in English and French, whereas the ultimate piece of the cycle, merely entitled “Ultimate”, transported us to the Maritimes, to the sounds of Edgar Gomes’ fiddle in what we imagined as an Irish-style pub. The musical language deployed on this work struck us as being extra Avant-Garde, particularly with the quite a few frictions between the completely different devices of the quintet. For the second time of the night, the piano was utilized in an unconventional method, not as a plucked instrument, however as a percussion instrument whose strings had been struck by hand.

The Danse Balkanique was the third and last work, composed by Adam V. Clarke. This proved to be essentially the most explosive and festive of all, with occasional waves of lyricism. At all times within the spirit of merging cultures collectively, the driving drive of the venture, the work borrowed from Bulgarian rhythms which gave it a exhilariting character. It allowed us, as soon as extra, to understand what we already knew from listening to the ensemble’s earlier renditions, specifically the person high quality and rigor of the musicians. The timbre of the soprano appeared to us very near that of the clarinet within the duet passages. The intricate dialogue between the violinist and the cellist was additionally wonderful and even fusional within the excessive register.

After Ottawa (November 3), the Silakbo is heading to Toronto (November 5 and seven), then to Nova Scotia (November 10, in Wolfville, and at last November 13, in Halifax) to introduce the Canadian public to the creativity and chemistry of those six musicians.

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