Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra Indigenous Festival

Suz and I went to see the opening of the WSO Indigenous Festival. We enjoyed the concert very much. The music director Alexander Mickelthwate (the conductor) and Festival Manager Vince Fontaine welcomed the mixed audience. I saw a lot of the old white people. You got to admire these people; they are the people that actively support the Arts. The crowd was mixed with youth, Aboriginal, visible ethnic groups and happy people.

Tonight's performance was entitled Ritual. George Gao played Capriccio #3 and Mongolian Fantasy. He used a traditional stringed instrument. I am not sure what it is called but you may heard some of the sounds on a movie like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It is called a Erhu. The music is sweet and haunting. He played soft at the start and then he exploded into a frenzy. The WSO just complimented the wild sound of the Erhu. A very good experience. Makes you want to go out and purchase a copy of the movie soundtrack Hero. I really like those little yellow women. It's that old fantasy of Asian Women. If you ever see the movie Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood, you will see that cliche made fun of by Ahney Her. In the movie Hero there is a great fight scene with Jet Li, and all the while the Erhu is being played. It is awesome. George Gao takes it to another level. He brings up the tempo and varies the sound that you get pumped.

The second portion of the show had performance of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring". Manitoba Aboriginal School of Dance joined the performance and interpreted the music piece.
All I can say it was crazy. Beautiful dance, complex sound and wild images come to mind. For me I the image I kept coming up with was the fight scene between Spock and Captain Kirk. The music and the tempo sort of resembles this television fight scene.

I don't believe I have had the opportunity to hear the WSO before tonight. I would go and see them perform again. It was such a good experience. We were lucky to go, my brother Donald gave us the tickets.

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