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Ensemble Intercontemporain Toon Traveler disassembles the component parts

Ensemble Intercontemporain

Toon Traveler disassembles the component parts

by Toon Traveller, Travel Correspondent
first published: November, 2022

approximate reading time: minutes

a clarinet, but not like I’ve ever heard it before

Ensemble Intercontemporain.
Conductor - Jerome Comte
Clarinet - Francois Lopez-Ferrer
Huddersfield Town Hall

This is why hcmf is such a gloriously wonderfully delightful. Lisa Streich wrote in the hcmf programme “a church organ, The Sound you hear when sitting in a church is far away from the perfect organ sound, whereas inside the instrument you could somehow listen to an imperfect counterpoint and the symbiosis with the outside sound seemed compete.” 

I love these sort of programme notes, they sing self confidence, yelling this is a must-must-hear piece.

Frank Bedrossian -  Le Lieu La Formula
Based on Rimbaud’s travel driven poetry, this piece took several minutes to set up, repositioning players, and instruments, to change balances, and it showed. I was reminded of record producers, engineers, discussing sound and balance. Cellos forward, harp central, and the whole sound changed. Aggressive cellos dominated the sound, loud and proud. The flutter of the strings, at times timid, servile, then proud and resisting. 

There were undercurrents of imperceptible whispers, Rimbaud’s own doubts? Or markets, peoples’ chatter, incomprehensible, we’ve all been there, travels have those memories. There’s hints of Africa, percussive strings, hammered, beaten into submission. There’s voices and delicacy, a sense of movement, or is it restlessness. No matter- best piece of the night!

Lisa Streich - Ofelia
Lisa Streich, lots of power, very Shostakovich, if it were rock music it’d be power chord rock. Yes there were interesting piano interludes, and some snazzy, though for me, pointless graphics, at times I was reminded of Stravinsky, sharp, angular deep dives, and swoops over the land.  Back to repeated themes, yes there was piano echoes from rear mounted speakers, whispers in the gloom. Not a bad piece. 

Lisa Streich - Himmel
Third piece, a super powered demonstration of percussive strings, life was hammered out of the cellos as string were plucked, slapped and beaten in anger and pride. In an instant, it’s violins heavy and light, night and day, echoing and leading. Wonderful piano, underpinning the harp, faint horns hint, memories of hopeful times passed. Yes there’s repetition, themes develop, but there is a sense of progression and looking back. Visions flash, bright, new, and as quickly become the past, an echo of the future to come in a second, slow evolution.

Thomas Simaku
World premier. This is just one man, a clarinet and the most delicate piano. The Clarinet shows how poignant, romantic and sonorous it can be. Flutters, thumps, beats, one stage removed from ‘vocal beat boxing’, just tongue and lungs. Moments of power and passion, swings of delight, barely audible, audience held spellbound, on the end of a crafted reed and Clarinet keys.  Elements of throat singing, circular breathing and playing, in the underlying rhythm,. A sense of accompaniment with tape loops, Apple Macs, or phased delays, But, but this was just one man and dexterous playing. Yes a clarinet, but not like I’ve ever heard it before. 

Toon Traveller
Travel Correspondent

Born - happy family, school great mates still see 7 / 8 in year, degreed, beer n fun, work was lazy but usually happy, retired. Learning from mum and dads travel exploits.
about Toon Traveller »»



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