Saturday, June 29, 2013

Nylon Guitars at Cat's Art MusikCircus

Joaquin Gustav returned last night for Healing Friday and Tango Time at Cat's Art MusikCircus.

Joaquin Gustav always gives a very delicate and gentle performance.  For a while his shows were not attended so well but that has been getting much better and last night people continued arriving the whole time.

The most special parts of Joaquin's performance are when he plays his tangos.  While he often plays Latin versions of pop songs, where he really excels, in this reporter's opinion, is when he plays a tango. I don't know if these pieces are specifically Argentinian and I suspect probably not but they are so full of Latin magic and much more than bringing a Latin style to a pop song.

Voodoo Shilton gives the second performance on Friday nights and the cutover to his music was flawless.  The first thing we heard was something short but quite pretty and this was only so he could verify the stream was working.  Definitely pro stuff!

Voodoo Shilton always has a quite dramatic look for his shows and I haven't been to hear him performing anywhere else so I really don't know what he wears for those shows.  I'm pretty sure we can be safe in assuming he does not wear a suit or, worst of all, business casual.

Voodoo started right away into one of his originals entitled "Sunrise" and within it we heard the magic words, "Here we go!"

Whenever Voodoo says that it's like a high-powered motorcycle putting the wheel up in the air and going to some impossible speed.  One of the strongest features of his music is the dynamic while he plays as he's not content to play a song from start to finish without traveling with it, in many cases at a very high rate of speed.  Another one that's particularly memorable for this is also original and it's entitled "Village Jam."

For a while, Voodoo's shows, while technically-brilliant, were going dry as they were predictable.  I guess it was a month or so ago that he shifted his approach altogether and now you really won't know what he's going to do.  He has become quite enamored of experimentation and this has brought a whole new liveness to his music.

Whisper Ek3 took that liveness to the air!

And Kate Lytton was juggling while she danced.  Let's see the Flying Karamazov Brothers do that!

Voodoo's experimentation is not limited to learning new songs as he is also playing constantly with the orchestration and bringing in new instruments.  I had never heard an udu or even heard of one until I heard him playing the one he found ... and who knows where he found it as the udu is an African instrument and has an indescribable and highly mystical sound.

One song in which Voodoo's udu adds a really delicious difference is "Summertime" and many say it's better than the original.  When I think of the original it's with Paul Robeson singing it and there isn't any better than that ... but neither is there any better than the way Voodoo interprets it as the methods are not at all the same.  Voodoo's orchestration, arrangement, and rhythm are different for the song than anyone I've heard with it before and below it all you can hear that udu with its mystical drone as if to say the summertime is much more than sitting on a porch drinking lemonade.

Voodoo is being quite a bit more aggressive in his approach to music and the audience obviously appreciates it as he had a very good turnout and they kept coming throughout the show.

And Cat and I danced.  There wasn't any poignance about it being a last dance as it wasn't.  There will be a delay before I get back to the MusikCircus but these dances are by no means over!

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