What I know about music is dangerous. I don’t know who was more relieved when I stopped piano lessons as a child – me, my teacher, the piano, or the rest of the family who had endured my clanging. But just because I can not produce music myself doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. And being ignorant has advantages – I have attended concerts where friends have engaged in fierce debates about the merits of the various performers. While I just smile and think “That was nice”.
So I will not attempt to comment or critique the music I heard during the festival. Suffice to say that I enjoyed all the shows I went to. Which were:
18 Strings – Steve Newman, Nibs van der Spuy and Guy Buttery. All three were amazing, but it was particularly awesome when they played together. At one point I counted seven guitars on stage. And came away with two new cds for my collection (I already own several by Steve Newman).
Bach Goldberg Variations – Zanta Hofmeyer (violin), Morkel Combrink (viola), Wessel Beukes (cello). Beautiful.
North Sea Big Band – jazz A collaboration between jazz musicians from South Africa, Norway, Scandinavia and Finland. Wonderful stuff, with an amusing note when they included a vuvuzela.
Symphony – Cape Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra – conductor Richard Cock, soloist Florian Uhlig, who was so good I almost wished I could play the piano. They played pieces by E von Reznicek, Robert Schumann and Antonin Dvorak.
Celso Duarte & Ensemble – music from Mexico, a mix of traditional, classical and jazz. Celso Duarte played the harp and many other instruments, accompanied by a wonderful group of musicians. I was fascinated by the unfamiliar instruments, particularly the guy who played what looked like the jawbone of a donkey!
Home from Home – Chris Mann and Nia – Chris Mann’s poems set to music, accompanied by local band Nia, against a backdrop of artwork by Julia Skeen.