Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Law/Burgess/Sirkis, The Art of Sound Tour - 14/01/09

Only those with extraordinary innate musical sensibility can aspire to win a scholarship backed by the Austrian Government to study under the pianist Badura-Skoda. John Law, a former recipient of this prestigious award, aims to use this gift to engender a spiritual experience in his audience. Improvisation is deemed critical to conjuring this effect. His methodology places lexical priority on engagement with the sonic and atmospheric dynamics in his immediate environment in order to transcend these via musical expression.

As if to put intention into practise, the evening’s proceedings commenced with developments on the Chet Baker tune played through the P.A. system while the band prepared the stage. It demonstrated an extroverted inclination to engage and interact not only within each musician’s internal space, nor within the group’s exclusive dynamic but with the entire audio and emotional ecosystem in which the group found itself.

Law’s delivery of the Miles classic, "Solar" was infused with medieval choral voicing and harmonies. His improvisations rarely strayed far from the original themes. He mines the interior contours of the phrase for the points of melodic intensity thereby sourcing the thought or feeling which motivated the composition in the first instance. This examination attained hypnotic force during his own compositions, "Watching Waiting" and "The Ghost in the Oak". Double bassist, Sam Burgess matched this effect during, "Still Life" with expansions on the main theme predominantly played in his upper register with a stunningly beautiful tone and expressive inflictions woven with romanticism. Sirkis reached his zenith on, "Giant Steps", with sparse accents and fills which fluctuated in and out of tempo. This effectively deconstructed the composition to reveal its interior.

"Music is for me a window into another realm." Sirkis’ sensitive analysis illustrates the effect created by this trio; elegant, sophisticated and intellectually engaging.


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