Sunday, April 01, 2007

An Evening of Classical Guitar music

It was an evening I will remember for a long time. Great ambience, superb sound, an appreciative audience, and we played our hearts out.

First, the venue. I believe we hit the jackpot this time, when I decided to write in for a venue sponsorship from the Singapore Art Museum. They promptly replied and we got a performance slot on 31st March 2007. Initially, my idea was to play in the Glass Hall, which I had previously attended a concert in, and it looked pretty cool. But as luck would have it, the Glass Hall was already booked by another group that night, and SAM offered us the Auditorium instead. And what a nice place that turned out to be, especially for a delicate sounding instrument like the classical guitar. It wasn't too large, but just enough to seat 150 people or so. Here's how the place looked it (picture taken during our sound test earlier on the day of performance):

Lots of friends and well wishers came to lend us support, including our dear mentor - Maestro Alex Abisheganaden, who had nothing but kinds words for us after the performance. He liked the more spanish sound pieces in the repertoire, which included Sevilla and Fandango, but less of the contemporary ones like Harumi suite and (a little surprisingly) Carnaval.
Ivan's guitar teacher, Ernest Kwok (arguably one the best local classical guitarist of our times) also came by to listen to our performance. He too was very appreciative and even suggested we play for a Yamaha event, featuring 4 silent guitars (plugged in)! haha.. that would be interesting :P

Some of my colleagues - Sandra and Thomas (my usual supporters! yay!) came, as well as Wilson, who commented, "whoa! i didnt know classical guitar could be played in so many ways!" Ex-colleagues Lina and Ken also came to lend their support and reminded me at the end of the recital to call them for future performances.

My old buddies wolf, tpk, pete and Tian How also came, some with their spouses and even kids. I didnt really get to talk to them much (i was busy 'entertaining' some of my other more inquisitive guests.haha), but i hoped they have had a great evening.

As for our repertoire, i felt we started off a little shaky (what's new.. cold fingers, anxiety..etc) with Sevilla, but by Cavatina we were moving along pretty ok.

Telemann's Concerto in D was pretty standard, some missing runs here and there, but generally I felt we fared much better than we did in the Open Mic event @ Esplanade Library just a couple of months back.

Baia was smooth and the tempo was great (for once!), and once we went into the tune, we never looked back, and song moved into good "cruise-control" mode. Chinese oldies medley was as usual, one of the audience's favourite, its catchy and familiar tunes, with some techniques (pizz, artificial harmonics, etc.) thrown in. Alex told me later that his 2 RP students who were there, actually asked him for the scores! :)

Harumi was, well... very Andrew York. ie. very modern and "mood" music. Not surprisingly, Along the Edge managed to put some ppl almost into sleep mode - not that we played badly though. I thought our rendition of Blue Ocean Echo/Country Gentleman came through quite well last night. (I'll have to watch the video to hear how we sounded though)

Lastly, our 2 fast-n-furious finale was the highlight of the night! I thought we played Fandango very, very well - not too much bones to pick on that one. And Carnaval's signature whistle-start and the all-time-fav "OOmmpH!" brought the concert to a nice high and close.


One more performance in our pockets, and this time, we gained some valuable experience playing to a closed door (proper hall) seated audience. I'm definitely looking forward to our next excursion soon!

If I may say so myself - Well done, Guitaresque!


Blogger Wai said...

Heh. Congrats on a great concert. Pity I missed it. Though I would love to see the video sometime. ;)

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to wai, bootleg version shld be out in the pasar malam, bus interchange or u-tube soon. Keep a lookout for it. ^^

This has been a rewarding experience playing in the Audi - the best so far in terms of tonal projection and quality as well as accoustical feed back.

Enjoyed the performance, tho i must admit i was in the high indulced by the "adrenaline" when my Cavatina score decide to head for lower grounds half-way thru the 1st page. Think my "smoke" grenade was ok...but verdict to be reached once the video is "edited" :P

Some feed bak i got from:

1. Let the song introduction be completed first before tuning. It was sorta of a distraction to the speaker and audience - Mr A.

2. The audience seats were on a flat ground. Hence back row pple will have to "shift" around to see the quartet. e.g. DBS tier which is view-friendly. We can take a look at Young Musician Society hall, similar capacity with tier seats. - Mr Ernest Kwok.

Also, many thanks to Shu Hann and Eeping for their tireless administration for the concert. Nice touch with the photo frame display! The group owed u big time for your help.


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7:30 AM  

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