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Sunday, May 06, 2012

The Wine Of Silence In Concert

I arrived in the afternoon to catch the Crouch End chorus just in from London have their first rehearsal with the Metropole Orchestra. Going behind stage, the very first person I bumped into was the man who's commitment and enthusiasm had made the entire project possible, Gert-Jan Blom



The next person I bumped into, looking for all the world as though he was leafing through the Sunday papers, was Andrew Keeling...


Conductor Jules Buckley took the orchestra and chorus through the scores...


Checking back every now and then with the choir's musical director to see what the balance was like between orchestra and singers...







The sound they made together, considering that this was the first time the two halves of the musical equation had been put into one space was remarkable.Just like any rehearsal, there's sometimes a lot of waiting about. Only on this occasion there's nobody going "OneTwo! One Two!"




In foyer of the venue the folks begin to gather...



Including David Singelton and Bert Lams, two more crucial parts of The Wine Of Silence team...


Bert, David and Andrew gave a pre-concert talk about the process of turning Fripp's original soundscapes into something that can be played by an orchestra; ie convoluted and nothing like as straight forward as might be supposed. 


I was very touched that several people, complete strangers, came up and said hello. They were either readers of the original Toxic Tome or readers of various KC 40th Anniversary Edition and KCCC releases and Prog mag.  During such flesh-pressing, the crowds began to arrive for an in-foyer soundscape performance by soundscaper Erik Voermans...




After the performance, Robert Fripp came in with Elan Sicroff. Robert was in a remarkably good mood, giving every impression of a man who was happy in life and in himself. We chatted on various KC book related business for a short while until it was time to go into the hall.

The concert was wonderful and the sound in the auditorium perfect. You could have heard a pin drop. Well, you could have heard a pin drop had the couple a few seats away from Andrew Keeling and myself stopped chatting to each other long enough.

As the applause rang out third piece in, I shuffled along and kindly asked them to shut the fuck up. I tend to find that including the word fuck efficiently conveys the intent and meaning of the request no matter what language barriers there might be.

Otherwise, this was a beautiful concert. It was a real privilege to be able to hear this music filling the space of the concert hall. The CD release is good but doesn't get close to being there. For that you'd have to have the thing available in surround sound and even then...

Afterwards, feeling very lucky to have been able to make it over here, there was an opportunity to chat with pals as the sun set over Amsterdam.





4 comments:

jS said...

It was a wonderful concert, really. For me, it felt like attending a service - it even had sort of a liturgy. I very much hope that there will be the chance for some more performances. This music deserves to be heard live, in concert halls not only in Amsterdam, although the Muziekgebouw was an appropriate place.

Sid, maybe you will be able to further report on this event in the next Prog issue?

steven said...

sid . . . i'm so grateful that you shared this amazing experience here . . . i've been waiting a long time for the soundscapes to find their voice in an orchestra on cd and knowing that they are THAT close and THAT good is exciting. a piece of that excitement of course is having you right there as they are played live and sharing not only the details of that but the before and after of them also . . . . cheers!!! steven

Will said...

Great post. Wish I could have been there. Well done for shutting the chatting couple up. You have to wonder why these people bother going to concerts.

CBQ said...

If I had a pound for every time I've had to tell someone to "shut the fuck up" at a concert, I'd have quite a few pounds I can tell you. Why indeed do these people not just stay at home and chat over a CD playing in the background? Morons.

On the positive side, sounds like a great "gig" Sid.

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