Category Archives: Music

Review The Lion , the B*tch and the Wardrobe, Wales Millennium Centre by Rhys Payne

Images Credit Jorge Lizalde
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

When applying to join Get the Chance I talked about how as someone who has taken part in a plethora of community productions across Wales in both on and off-stage roles I have a deeper understanding of how the mechanics of putting on a show works. Usually, as a reviewer, we are focused on whatever happens on or around the stage for the three-ish hours of a select performance but I am going to start this week’s review a little bit differently by talking about something that happened before the auditorium even opened for “The Lion, the B*tch and the Wardrobe. As me and the famous Aunty Chris sat eating waiting for the doors of the venue to open, we discovered that Bar One at Wales Millennium Centre was selling a unique “B*tch Juice” cocktail to help celebrate the press evening of the show we were moments from seeing. At around £6 (which was under what I expected to pay for a cocktail at the Millennium Center) the vodka, cranberry and lemonade drink was incredibly refreshing and wonderfully delicious! In fact, I’m going to try experimenting at home to try and get the recipe as close to the one I had as possible as it was simply that nice!

This time last year I was invited to attend a performance of XXXmas Carol where I talked about my not-so-secret love of Polly Amorous from meeting her in nightclub settings and being absolutely astonished by how much of an incredible performer she was on the stage! When it was announced that Polly and the gang were returning for ‘The Lion, the B*tch and the Wardrobe’ the surprise of Polly’s acting prowess was gone. I walked into this show (sort of unfairly) with the knowledge of the previous show and how amazing the sober songbird of Splott was but despite all this she still managed to surpass the already high bar she had previously set! Not only had she built on her already fantastic stage presence but her vocal abilities seem to have only grown tenfold since the last time.

The show opens with Polly and her personal piano player Felix Sürbe as they take the audience of a whistle-stop tour of iconic Christmas anthems! The later sections of these mash-ups were where Polly really found her footing and managed to introduce her brand of hilarious humour and amazing vocals! Polly not only plays an integral part of the camp retelling of the CS Lewis story itself but also acts as a narrator of the show helping to transition from storytelling to an array of performers to scenes flawlessly. She is able to maintain the humour embedded into the show while also driving the plot without appearing like she is pushing things along which is not an easy thing to do. Whenever I watch Polly perform I always ask if she can give us a rendition of defying gravity from Wicked as this is a musical I love and is one of my favourite songs she does in her set. This is why I was totally overwhelmed when she not only busted out of a performance of this iconic song but did so while suspended in the air on a zip wire. Seeing her dangle in the air while singing about flying not only made sense narratively but the humour in her being left on stage had the audience howling!

In last year’s performance, we were introduced to the incredibly sensual Erik McGill who wowed the audience with his gravity-defying trapeze skills. This year he was given a much bigger responsibility of playing the loveable (yet extremely horny) Mr Bumnus. From the moment we first met this unique character to the more emotional moments throughout Eric is able to portray this goat/Human hybrid creature wonderfully while taking the audience on an emotional rollercoaster throughout. His first performance was a beautiful routine which involved Erik scaling up a floating lamp post and showcasing the most mesmerising poses and positions while keeping a lustful gaze at Polly the entire time.  He manages to control his body in such a smooth and fluid way meaning that the transitions from poses is just as entertaining as the tricks themselves. Early in the show, we see a hilarious scene where Mr Bumnus was Polly to spank him in return for secrets that would help the host on her quest. Erik does a fantastic job of taking this sexual (by nature) scene and injecting the perfect amount of comedy making it suitable for the stage. My favourite moment of this character however was just after an emotional moment with Mr Bumnus is violently punished for betraying the queen and Polly needs to find a way to bring him back to life. This leads to Polly discovering a paddle and using it to deliver a thunderous spank that not only jolts him back to life but straight into an incredible trapeze act. While Asha Jane delivered a wonderful performance of “It’s Raining Men”, Erik soared through the air on his trapeze with every time he leapt from the trapeze I physically jumped out of my seat! The range of flips and tricks he was able to perform while dangling so dangerously high in the air had my heart racing on the floor so I can’t imagine what he would have been feeling up there!

I was a little disappointed however that Rahim El Habachi had a much more drawn-back involvement in this year’s show not only because he is a friend of mine but also because his unique brand of belly dancing is always a crowd favourite! Last year he was able to showcase his dance skills, live singing and showcase original spoken word pieces and while he could showcase some of his talents, he did not have as many opportunities as last year! This performance was much more focused on his acting talents as he took on the role of a sexy reindeer and the mighty Ass-lan where he was able to throw his voice in such a way to create a powerful, bombing sound this character has become associated with. Throughout the show, Foo Foo LaBelle was able to showcase her incredible burlesque-infused performances including a police-inspired number where a lucky audience member was selected to go on stage and receive a sensual lap dance live in front of everyone. The performer was able to totally command the stage while also allowing for a reasonable amount of chaos and comedy with the audience member involved which is always a gamble in shows! I also thoroughly enjoyed the rendition of “Feeling Good” by Asha which ended with a vibrant explosion of streamers with every performing storming the stage to help mark the end of act one!

Overall, creating a queer retelling of a story originally created by a devoted Christian is not only an extremely powerful and political statement but also the fantastical elements of Narnia lend themselves beautifully to the series of unique performances. Polly managed to anchor the explosion of sensual eroticism (of whips, chains, spanking etc) with a mind-blowing performance and wonderful vocals (from Polly included) which is no easy feat! I would rate this show 4.5 stars out of 5!

You can find out more about the production and book tickets here

REVIEW BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Mahler 9 with Markus Stenz             

Reviewed by Barbara Hughes-Moore

The Cardiff Classical 2022-23 continues with its latest concert at St David’s Hall, featuring one of the finest symphonies by one of the greatest Romantic composers. German conductor Markus Stenz leads the BBC National Orchestra of Wales through Gustav Mahler’s 9th Symphony, the last completed symphonic work before his death in 1911.

The 9th is something of a culmination of Mahler’s lifelong fascination with death, which we can trace from the ‘Polka with Introductory Funeral March’ which he composed aged seven. That doesn’t mean Mahler was aware of his unravelling mortal coil when composing the 9th, although – like Beethoven and Schubert before him – he died without completing his 10th symphony. After losing his daughter and being diagnosed with severe health issues himself, Mahler moved his family to their summer residence on the Austro-Italian border, to grieve and to recuperate. The gorgeous natural surroundings of Toblach were one of the key inspirations behind his final work, and its fascination with nature can be heard in every note, from the earthy second movement to the volcanic eruptions of the third.

Conductor Markus Stenz

And, as conductor Markus Stenz mentioned in the excellent pre-show talk with Jonathan James, you have to be personal with Mahler – the success of any performance is about what you put into it. It’s no surprise, then, that performances of any Mahler piece can vary significantly in timing and style (including those conducted by the man himself!) To play any piece of music is to be in dialogue with the composer – and Stenz’s connection with Mahler is positively subatomic. He received a German Critics’ Award for his recording of Mahler’s 5th with the Gürzenich Orchestra, and conducted Mahler’s 2nd with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra earlier this year.

Markus Stenz and the NOW in rehearsal. Photo credit: Yusef Bastawy

Stenz, who studied with Bernstein and who has performed on three continents this season already, is a characterful and expressive leader who embodies every emotion of Mahler’s vivid tapestry. The Orchestra is on fine form, and there are myriad ‘Mahler Moments’ to be enjoyed here, including a slew of terrific solos by the NOW’s finest, from lead violin Lesley Hatfield to principal percussionist Chris Stock (who, before the concert began, was presented with the Royal Philharmonic Society award for his charitable work in Patagonia).

Markuz Stenz and the NOW take a bow. Photo credit: Yusef Bastawy

While many Mahler symphonies journey from darkness into light, the 9th goes from the living to the otherworldly, with Stenz and the NOW seguing seamlessly from the frenetic bombast of the Big Bang to the emotional serenity of the closing Adagissimo. These fading refrains, according to Adorno, marked the first steps into modernity. Having begun with a universe bursting into being, the symphony culminates in a peaceful acceptance of mortality; a beautiful controlled stillness, like lying in the grass looking up at the stars. While death is inevitable, Mahler crafts beauty in its last breath – and Stenz and the string section’s delicacy and restraint are positively unearthly here, as together they conjure heaven in the Hall.

James Murphy, CEO of the Royal Philharmonic Society, presents Chris Stock with the society’s orchestral award. Photo credit: Yusef Bastawy

Stenz returns to Mahler (Adagio from Symphony No. 10) in January with the Philharmonia Zürich, after conducting the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra through Wagner’s Operas in December. He will tour across Europe and America through next year, conducting pieces from Beethoven and Bruckner to Tchaikovsky and Liszt. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales continue their spellbinding 2022-23 season with Stravinsky, Ravel and Boulanger, conducted by Sofi Jeannin, at BBC Hoddinott Hall at the end of November before playing a succession of Christmas concerts in Cardiff and Swansea.

Review The Death Songbook, Llais Festival, Wales Millennium Centre by Tracey Robinson

Death Songbook – Brett Anderson

The Festival of Voice/Gwyl y Llais was established in 2016 it’s Cardiff’s annual festival and is held at the magnificent Wales Millenium Centre, Butetown.


This year The Festival of Voice has been rebranded as Llais, meaning ‘voice’ (the English name of the festival has been dropped). The 5-day festival is like no other, it offers a real mix of events, free and ticketed, immersive art, and a celebration of internationally acclaimed artists through a range of live, exciting, diverse music.


I arrived at the Donald Gordon Stage just as the combined choir of Cwmdare Voices and Pelenna Valley Male Voice started their performance of classics, if you’ve never seen a Welsh Male Voice Choir perform live, then sort yourself out and go see one! Oh my days, your soul will be filled with pleasure and forever thankful it had the experience. Not wanting to sound biased
but nobody does it better than the Welsh – fact!


I was beyond thrilled to be seeing Brett Anderson (need I say, Suede frontman) perform something new after what seemed like forever. He was joined on stage by Charles Hazelwood
and the Paraorchestra, for the first live performance of Death Songbook, reimagined and repumped cover versions of songs that I’ve grown up listening to, with a special guest
performance by Mercury Prize nominee, Gwenno.

Nothing had prepared me for the beauty of the performance, to say it was magical would be an understatement, my heart and head were filled with musical joy, melancholy, and nostalgia.
Kicking off the performance with Killing Moon really set the tone, I was captivated and overjoyed, right through to the last note of ‘Wonderful Life’.


I was completely amazed and overwhelmed with emotion listening to the first-ever performance of Brutal Lover, a truly beautiful song. Gwenno’s unique voice on ‘End of the World’ ‘Holes’ and ‘Enjoy the Silence’ combined with Brett Andersons’ vocals was a smooth union of sound.

Gwenno


I had never heard of the Paraorchestra before last night, they sounded phenomenal, they are incredible musicians, and the sound they created suited the songs to perfection. Charlie
Hazelwood described them as a ‘new breed’. This beautiful concert was so well directed and produced by a bodywork of professionals, I felt like I was experiencing something really special, it felt like a new era and gave me feelings of elation, joy, melancholy, and nostalgia.


I’m not a fan of cover versions and on my way to WMC I wondered how some of the songs would sound, particularly as the original artists, David Bowie/Jaques Brel, Japan, Depeche
Mode, Mercury Revs, Echo and the Bunnymen, Skeeter Davis (all pretty big shoes to fill) are icons and all performed their songs as only they can, they’re classics, I really enjoyed listening to them but not in the way that I heard them last night, the new arrangements and performance stirred me up inside and moved me. The songs have now taken on a very different meaning to me like I was listening to them for the first time. The song choices suited Brett’s voice to perfection.


Death Songbook reminds us that through songs about death, the death of love, and the loss of our loved ones, music is our comforter, our greatest friend in dark, bleak times, it soothes,
nourishes, and uplifts us, during our deepest sorrow.


Thank you Brett and everyone involved in the performance and production. I await an official release of this beautiful music, preferably on vinyl!

Review Krapka;Koma, Pixi Ink & Cholly, Exchange Bristol by James Ellis

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Within the basement of the evergreen Exchange in Bristol lied a fabulous evening and an important fundraiser. Krapka;Koma from Lviv, Ukraine are on tour, with a stop in Bristol along with some lovely warm up acts, adding to the female led fun.

From London, Cholly started off the night with sweet vocals and an electronic sound hard to resist. With remixes of her cat and some keyboard tricks, she made for a fine opening act of electro pop. Pixi Ink, who has been on tour also, followed with a singing on a resplendent level, awash in it’s soulful luxury. Triphop might just be a new favourite genre for me. Even before the main line up I was really taken with these two artists.

Becky Boo was the VJ for the whole night, adding saturated layers of 90s CGI, cartoons and a vaporwave breeze. Along with the ethereal music, the video work really added an extra dimension to this intimate affair. The weight of the headlines act was felt by everyone present, musicians form Ukraine who are on tour as their country is plagued in war.

Billed as being further trip hop, jazz and electronica, this fitting billing could only affirm the the joy of their music making. How touching it was to see both these marvellous musicians create live music on stage in Bristol, the catchy and softly perfumed sounds filling the space. Even some additional brass was a real nice touch, bass lines and a electric pad drum kit also added to the pot, in their laid back fibre. I didn’t expect their set to be filled with just the right amount of feel good vibes that I think we all need at this harsh corner in our lives. Need I say more?

After their tour and Sofar Sounds concert, we hope a gig in their homeland can be real soon.

La Bohème – a review by Eva Marloes

photo credit Richard Hubert Smith
3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

The Welsh National Opera reproposes Annabel Arden’s 2012 production of La Bohème, set in the early 20th century. It is a straightforward interpretation of Puccini’s opera with a minimal and, at times, unimaginative setting. The WNO succeeds in offering a production that is skillful and entertaining. Strong performances bring to life the romance, tragedy, as well as comedic elements of the opera.

Rodolfo (Jung Soo Yun) and Marcello (Germán E Alcántara) are skint artists living in a cold attic in Paris. Rodolfo falls quickly in love with frail Mimì (Elin Pritchard), but their complicated relationship flounders under the pressures of poverty and Rodolfo’s guilt for making Mimì ill. In contrast, Marcello’s affair with coquettish Musetta (Aoife Miskelly) is passionate and often funny. The friends Schaunard (Mark Nathan) and Alcindoro (Alastaire Moore) add to the bittersweet comedy of the production.

Elin Pritchard, as Mimì, and Aoife Miskelly, as Musetta, shine giving by far the best performances. Pritchard, who was a superb Michäela in a past WNO’s Carmen, is graceful and powerful. She conveys a tender tragedy infused with love and loss. Aoife Miskelly, who previously delighted the audience as the Cunning Little Vixen, performs with brio, charm, and sophistication. Miskelly has a beautiful light in her voice.

Baritone Germán E Alcántara gives a powerful performance with. Jung Soo Yun has a beautiful tonality but limited range. Jung’s voice lacks the power needed to counter the orchestra. This is disappointing, especially after he gave a masterful performance in Les Vêpres Sicilliennes.

photo credit Richard Hubert Smith

The quartet of the two couples Mimì and Rodolfo, and Musetta and Marcello is effective though underwhelming. Mark Nathan, as Schaunard, and Alastaire Moore, as Alcindoro, give robust performances holding the scene in Act Four.

The WNO’s choir is impeccable, as always, with a strong stage presence. The orchestra, under the baton of Lee Reynolds, gives a solid performance. This production of La Bohème is let done by the rehashing of a past production lacking in imaginative interpretation and an overly minimal setting, which here includes video projections of birds and of snow.

REVIEW BBC National Orchestra of Wales: ‘Romance & Riots’ at St David’s Hall by Barbara Hughes-Moore

Cardiff Classical 2022-23 opened with a bang last night at St David’s Hall with two of the most raucous, romantic and indeed riotous concertos of the last century. The opening concert, entitled ‘Romance and Riots’, featured Sergey Rachmaninov’s sumptuous Third Piano Concerto and Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring – two orchestral works by two celebrated Russian composers, written just four years apart, and yet they couldn’t be more different.

Led by American conductor Ryan Bancroft and performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with German-based South Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son, the concert traverses multiple (often contrasting) sounds, rhythms and stories, and paints these classic concertos in gorgeous new colours.  The NOW perfectly captures the dramatic dynamic contrast and sheer epic scale of the music, while Bancroft and Son give incredibly precise, passionate, and characterful performances.

As a conductor Bancroft guides the orchestra through the character and emotion of the piece, making it just as exhilarating a physical performance as it is a musical one. Son is an extraordinary soloist and an immensely expressive performer, drawing the audience in with every movement, from the intense, juddering chords to the glimmering crescendos. There is a real power to her performance that meant that the audience was feeling every note and emotion of the piece right along with her.

And what can be said of The Rite of Spring that hasn’t been said already? As Jonathan James mentioned in an excellent and memorable pre-show talk, to say that the piece caused something of a stir in its 1913 debut is quite the understatement: the avant-garde music – stoked by political and class discontent – caused a riot in the theatre, with the dancers and musicians gamely playing through the mayhem right until the final bars. The piece itself is, as James explained, “order disguised as anarchy”; a volcanic, visceral retelling of a young woman who dances herself to death to appease the gods of Spring. Its epic discordance and jazzy polyrhythms would go on to inspire future composers from Gustav Holst to Bernard Hermann – but the original remains as shocking today as it was a century ago.

This is pianist Yeol Eum Son’s first time working with both conductor Ryan Bancroft and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. She performs next in Madrid, performing Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand in D major on 20-21 October, before heading back to Cardiff’s RWCMD to perform Stravinsky once more – this time, the Firebird Suite – along with pieces by Lekeu, Hirtz, Janáček and Kapustin, which sounds like the perfect complement to tonight’s programme.

NOW can be next seen playing the 1001 Arabian Nights family concerts in Cardiff and Swansea, before performing Bach, Liebermann and Schmidt at the end of the month and Elgar’s Cello Concerto in November. Bancroft next conducts the Malmö Symphony Orchestra in Sweden, playing pieces from Dvořák, Copland and Netzel, the latter two with Peter Friis Johansson on piano.

What a start to the Hall’s 40th anniversary year!

Review, Elin Grace, Bee Without Wings EP, by Gareth Williams

One of the most exciting talents coming through this year’s Forté project is surely 18-year-old Elin Grace. The singer-songwriter from Mid Wales has just released an EP of sheer brilliance. ‘Bee Without Wings’ may only be her debut release but it demonstrates a maturity far beyond her years. Lyrically complex, sonically fascinating, vocally mesmerising, the whole record is absorbing from start to finish. With touches of Kate Bush, Lily Allen, Rona Mac and Amy Wadge, along with her particular inspiration Laura Marling, it is generous with genre while maintaining a consistency of sound. Always serving the narrative, the music becomes an accurate representation of each song: the fragile piano on ‘Little Bit Delicate’, the rhythmic synth of ‘Breathe’, the music box sound underlying ‘Doll’. All touch on mental health in some way, whether it be anxiety, self-esteem or depression. All contrast the expected angst of their subject matter with a poise that is strangely comforting – sometimes soft and light; ironic and even comic – to make this an EP shot through with eccentricity. It is as if Elin Grace is wanting to hold a mirror up to her experience to reveal its peculiarity. She is an artist of genuine depth, unafraid to share moments of personal vulnerability and confident to deconstruct the false values of contemporary society. ‘Bee Without Wings’ is a consummate piece of music-making. Elin Grace has a very bright future ahead of her.

Reviewed by Gareth Williams

Review Will Pound & Jenn Butterworth, Stoller Hall, Manchester by James Ellis

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

It would be my last night in Manchester where I made the discovery of Will Pound and Jenn Butterworth. This folk duo are doing the rounds on tour and my love for them has grown thanks to this lovely concert they gave in the intimate Carole Nash Hall within Stoller Hall.

It is their mix of harmonica, vocals and guitar that make them so endearing. Be it folk proper, sea shanties or country songs, their talents shine forth. A smattering of feminist folk songs stood out, Jenn being cheeky and removing some problematic elements from others songs (a cautious decision I didn’t really mind) , yet still kept up the earthy, thrilling ride. Will was showing off the only bass harmonica in the world, whilst proving his money’s worth through fabulous playing. Jenn with lush vocals and stirring guitar playing, both musicians a wonderful mix, the delight of this Sunday night.

After viral success on Tik Tok, they seem to be reaching new heights thanks to new audiences. The whole thing just felt very accessible and had an easy going quality I often enjoy in the concert environment. I should see more folk events, if they are as good as this. It’s rare to find a duo who seem to really understand one another, their cheery personalities also on show. It is the spirit of the British Isles that lives in these two, along with the fire of European nations, since we were also treated to music from Spain and elsewhere. This of course, gave Will the chance to show off his diatonic accordion, a sweet and acute instrument known by different names in different lands.

These two gave me the spirit to say goodbye to Manchester and to head home to Wales.

Will Pound and Jenn Butterworth continue on tour around the UK till 21 November 2022.

WNO’s Migrations, a review by Eva Marloes

WNO Migrations The Mayflower WNO Chorus photo credit Craig Fuller
2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

The new opera Migrations, developed by the Welsh National Opera (WNO), brings together disparates histories and issues to send an anti-racist message. The opera consists of six interlocking tableaux protesting racism, slavery, and violence to the natural world. These issues deserve to be told and dramatised, yet drama requires tension, emotions, and characters, which are wholly absent in this production.

Migrations is a pot pourri of protest banners without a trace of life. None of the librettists took the trouble to write a character with real emotions, pain and joy, hope and disappointment. Singers explain disparate histories and issues to the audience rather than tell a story. The message is right and timely, but an opera is not a protest march.

Migrations was conceived as part of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the sailing of The Mayflower in 1620. This shows little understanding of the Pilgrims, who are here presented erroneously as oppressed people escaping persecutions. In reality, they were theocratic colonisers with little tolerance for each other never mind anybody else. The choir as Pilgrims singing ‘Freedom’ sits awkwardly with the overall anti-colonial, anti-racist, and anti-slavery message.

There are only two tableaux that stand out. One is Flight, Death or Fog, the story of Pero Jones, enslaved to the Pinney family in Bristol. Aubrey Allicock’s Pero has an impressive presence on stage which confers dignity and gravitas. The other is This is the Life! set in 1968 and depicting two Indian doctors coming to Britain to ‘fill the NHS skills gap,’ as they tell the audience. The Indian classical music and flamboyant Bollywood dance manage to lift the spirits.

WNO Migrations This is the Life Natasha Agarwal Neera Jamal Andreas Jai Bollywood Ensemble photo credit Craig Fuller

Treaty Six by Sarah Woods depicts the plight of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation in today’s Canada trying to stop a pipeline going through their land. The English Lesson features a group of refugees reflecting on who they were at home and their status as refugees in a new country. Eric Ngalle Charles’s Birds sees children as birds migrating and endangered by humans destroying the natural world. The music and the children’s singing lack the necessary sombre tone to convey the message.

On the whole, this mishmash is kept together competently by the singers, the always excellent choir, and orchestra conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren. The music too often resembles a second-rate musical, with the exception of the chorale and Jasdeep Singh Degun’s Indian classical music.

Review William Basinski & London Contemporary Orchestra, Barbican Centre by James Ellis 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A return to London for William Basinski was just what I’ve needed. This American composer has made good old fashioned reel to reel tape as the basis of his craft. More specifically, the deterioration when the tape is compromised due to a varying combination of factors is his USP (chance, the age of the tech and temperature as examples). His art will be forever interlinked with the events of 9/11, as some attempt to salvage archival work occurred on that fateful day.  

Arriving on stage, Basinski was flaming, singing show tunes and unable to grasp he was performing at the Barbican. Starting with his Lamentations from 2020, he declared that “war is on the way”, as the now everywhere colours of the Ukraine flag flooded the stage. Even in this newer work, his tape addiction never stops. There were some exquisite moments here. Anyone not into minimalism and an equal amount of patience would struggle with his ideas. Though those who commit are treated to a fine ambient encounter. Some sample of a stunning female singer makes you crave the source. It remains very haunting, other exuberant moments fill the space with a somber joy, yearning regrets within others. He appears to still have the magic about him!

Two orchestral arrangements of his Disintegration Loops filled the second half. Basinski has shared the context of this piece and it’s relationship with 9/11 many times. The London Contemporary Orchestra took on these damaged pieces with benevolence for the listener. No. 3 of the loops is quite serene, a feeling of calm washes over you, as it continues to repeat and repeat. Conductor Robert Ames helps the statue like dynamic along, leading shortly after in the iconic No.1.1 of the loops. There is a slight change to the snippet of a melody which haunts the first loop (we assume it’s brass on the original). The brass here players keep the structure going, as the notes gradually go into the ether. The two percussionists relentlessly shone, keeping the subtlety on course, as the other musicians wrapped up. The addition of humming was a nice touch at the start and end, though mics would have gone a long way.      

All that was missing was Basinski’s video work which accompanies the loops. Still a fun, revelatory evening.