Today was the last night for the concert with Carlos Kalmar

Today was the last night for the concert with Carlos Kalmar conducting Falla’s Three Dances from El Amor Brujo and Ravel’s Mother Goose and La Valse, plus a special performance by Deep Down Dos – a dance group, who danced to Mason Bates’ Music from Underground Spaces. As usual, the CSO orchestra was fantastic: Falla’s pieces were lively with strong basses, while Ravel’s Mother Goose was everything a child could hope for – with the celesta tinkling away for that “magical”, fairy-tale feel, and the strings for all the romance found between imaginary princes and princesses. What impressed me the most was the marriage between dance, classical music and electronica: Bates outdoes himself in his composition Music from Underground Spaces, where the audience is taken on a ride through the world underneath our feet – we pass through the subway, tunnel networks, a basement-level nightclub, all the way to hearing the rumbling of the very earth itself – the crunching of tectonic plates shifting against one another. Bates fused the low registers of the cello and double-bass with electronic, synthesised sounds of rumbles, the bass drum, and something ethereal that takes us to a haunting world. Yet it isn’t the kind of haunting that is scary – the harmonic phrases interspersed between the minor tones turn the composition into something more comforting, like snuggling underneath the bedsheets while it’s dark and raining outside. To add to this are the dancers from Deep Down Dos with very fluid motions that ripple across each dancer as they ‘move’ one another, just like how the music moves them and how they move it back. All in all, it was a truly wonderful experience for a Tuesday evening. My hat’s off to everyone who contributed!

2 thoughts on “Today was the last night for the concert with Carlos Kalmar

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