Friday, April 20, 2007

Opa! Goran Bregovic came to to town

Last night I went and saw Goran Bregovic's Wedding and Funeral Band play with Kristjan Järvi's Absolute Ensemble at Konserthuset here in Stockholm. They played a comision piece called " Forgive me, is this the way to the future? Three letters to Three Prophets" that Goran Bregovic wrote for the European Concert Hall Organization.

The piece consisted of three musical letters to the three prophets of the religions that have collided in the Balcans throughout history, catholicism, orthodox christianity and islam. Each letter was meant to be built as a dialogue, with arguing and a great big reconciliation at the end.

The clash between New York's Absolute Ensemble, a classically trained yet super diverse ensemble of musical pro's, and the Wedding and Funeral band was pretty interesting because they were all great musicians, but in different ways. I gotta say though, once the Wedding and Funeral Band started banging on that huge drum of theirs, and blasting their like 5 tuba's, the whole " fascinating meeting between two different musical traditions"-thing was lost and you forgot all about the intended subtleties of the piece. You could also totally tell that some people ( 1st violinist in particular) in the Absolute Ensemble could hardly retain themselves from dancing over to the other side of the stage and running away with the Wedding and Funeral Band forever.

I think a lot of the people in the crowd expected the concert to only be Goran Bregovic's trademark hand-clapping and opa-yelling, happy movie - music, which they definitely also got, but mixed in with truly modern, sublime classical music. The most moving part for me where the two Bulgarian ladies singing for the W and F band. They had big plastic flowers in their hair, and they were dressed in traditional costumes. Sometimes their voices were like two slightly rusted, yet sharp knives cutting right trough your flesh. And behind that you had a male sextet, some of them singing so low it almost became white noise. It was really overwhelming and beautiful. In the middle of the stage , sat Goran Bregovic, in his white suit, smiling, sometimes singing or playing the guitar. It was a great show.

Since I haven't gotten my shit together, and I'm definitely less then hip, I don't have any Goran to post right now, so I'll have to send you down to my co-blogger DJ's post for that.


Blogger DJ said...

Wow, cool, I'm totally jealous. Did you take that picture yourself?

April 20, 2007 6:51 PM  
Blogger Laz said...

Nope, my camera is still somewhere in the enchanted kingdom of Egypt, so I just googled that picture. He totally looked like that though.

April 21, 2007 1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the show in Birmingham in the UK - a great evening. What was particularly good was that all the musicians were clearly having a wonderful time. When she wasn't actuallyplaying, the Absolute Ensemble's tiny clarinet player was just bopping up and down and grinning away. fabulous.

May 01, 2007 12:58 PM  
Blogger Laz said...

Yeah she was!

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