Saturday, September 10, 2011
Been a bit recalcitrant but also very busy, so a few more brief notes.
Two night back Keith and Toshi played what was, at the time, my favorite set of the festival. They hadn't played together in a few years and Keith's style had diverged significantly in that time from what I think of as his "Rothko" approach to his "Twombly" one which might be less conducive to Toshi's way which has been fairly consistent. Nonetheless, at the start it was as though they picked up right where they'd left off, creating rich drones, not lacking an edge. I figured that, sooner or later, Keith would disrupt things and he did, about 15 minuted in, interjecting some harsh squalls, and, for the midsection of the set, roiling the waters quite a bit, beautifully offset by Toshi's response, which deepened the tones a bit while maintaining the flow. All of this led up to a pristine last ten or so minutes, utterly gorgeous, where the strains thinned out into a steady, icy calm. Very, very satisfying.
Last night was the first set of Keith with Radu Malfatti, performing Radu's "Nariyamu" and Cardew's "Solo with Accompaniment". It was amusing, earlier on, watching the pair rehearse "Nariyamu", rehearsal, for Keith, being an activity rarely indulged. There's some looseness in the composition but Malfatti does require a certain pitch at points throughout, something that Rowe's set-up acts actively against. But the performance was magnificent. The gossamer strands--sets of three or four tones, sparsely arrayed, interspersed with small sets of clicks--managed to evoke a kind of enormity, of vastness. Malfatti's control verges on the supernatural, just amazing to hear. My individual highlight of the festival so far. The Cardew was also very fine, Rowe at more liberty to make noise and Malfatti also (relatively) expanding a bit.
all for now...apologies for the brevity. Rowe/Malfatti improv tonight & Toshi solo.