Posted by Liz
This afternoon’s conceptual concert from the ensemble Tapestry was based around the text Song of Songs, described by Laurie Monahan as a love poem. The performance wove Hebrew cantillations with Latin, Hebrew and modern settings of the poem together with instrumental accompaniment and improvisation.
Whilst the festival program had a list of works, the performance was done in discrete halves with works merging together. In the end I stopped looking at the program and just enjoyed! The instrumental performances in particular were interesting and pleasurable, indeed conjuring up a garden in summer somewhere like Spain or maybe Roman/Byzantine Tripoli. The sound was interesting too – I had a brief chat with Shira Kammen in the interval to look at the small harp, which is played on the lap and strung with gut strings; also the vieille with its 5 strings.
All Hebrew cantillations were sung excellently by Daniela Tosic; the other works were either, solo, duo or group. For some of the songs, the Tapestry singers were at the back and sides of the church with impressive results. Finishing the afternoon with two catchy songs, ‘Erec shel shoshanim’ and ‘Dodi Li’, rounded off an excellent show.
Later on I went to the third showing of the 1948 film The Iron Curtain at the Bytowne Cinema. A good mix of people had turned up for a classic spy thriller and soundtrack from Russian composers Shastakovich, Prokofiev, Myaskovsky, and Khachaturian. Whilst there was a plot device to include the music, it was only featured in parts. Part proto-docudrama, part Cold War propaganda, the film is entertaining not least for the classic shots of 1940s Ottawa. Instances of bumbling public servants also drew laughter from the audience. It hadn’t occurred to me previously, but cinema prints must be very rare as the film was projected from a Mac, so there is clearly a DVD available somewhere (sadly for anyone who missed the film, Ottawa Public Library doesn’t have a copy).
Photos of previous festival events are now available on the Music and Beyond website!