This was a concert with a difference. Apart from consisting of works by contemporary composer Girolamo Deraco, the three highly professional musicians, namely, Francesco Gatti (flutes), Tony Capula (clarinets) and Matteo Cammisa (vibraphone) combined theatre with some of their performances.
It was very revealing when composer Girolamo Deraco (whom our Artistic Director, Joseph Vella, met on one of his professional travels to Italy) who was present, gave detailed explanations of every piece, ranging from trios to solos and duos. His music experiments with the various instruments used and seeks to bring out tonal nuances which, in a more classical, canonical context, are not likely to be noticed. One innovation was the fact that all three musicians read their music from tablets rather than the traditional scores.
All the nine pieces performed had a quasi-programmatic feel to them, and, while they do not exactly tell a story, they do imply a state of mind and soul. Worthy of mention was the very interesting Anima mea, scored for ‘Bb clarinet and tablet’. Performed in total darkness, this work exploited the sensuous, dark tones of the lower register of the Clarinet, together with percussive sounds which sought to probe the depths of the soul.
Francesco Gatti proved to be a most accomplished performer on the flutes, and his solo piece, namely, Requiem per un poeta, brought out the remarkably wonderful tones of the alto flute. Likewise, Matteo Cammisa performed wizardries on the vibraphone, also using the instrument as a means to extend vibrations and echoes. He also proved himself a fine actor in the penultimate piece, entitled Game Over, which developed into a kind of sparring event between vibraphone and bass clarinet.
The works performed during the evening are all recorded on CD which was issued this April. Etymos will be touring Italy, Hungary and Germany to promote a most interesting project later on this year.
This concert showed another aspect of music-making, a world away from traditional fare but one that proved to be most exciting and revealing to an appreciative audience!