Something special is stirring in our backyard. Faint hypnotic waves of traffic outside, with a little imagination, evocative of the sea shore. Perfect for the work being performed: Toru Takemitsu’s Toward the Sea. Inside, an intimate friendly audience sits in the dim light, experiencing new, exciting, and deeply personal music performed with mastery. Steve Lin, guitar, and Kris Palmer, wood flute, alto flute, and piccolo, guide us on a deeply satisfying journey. We are told that the work is rarely performed because it’s written for the relatively uncommon alto flute, tuned a 4th lower than regular flutes. Its sound is deep and rich.
After Takemitsu, they perform Robert Beaser’s Mountain Songs, 8 Appalachian songs wonderfully developed and transformed. I recognize All the Pretty Horses and sit transfixed, captivated by the amazing fecundity of Beaser’s musical ideas. The flute changes — this time to an African wood model, rather than its metal orchestral counterpart. Lin demonstrates comfortable execution of sustained fast fretwork. They perform beautifully together: perfect synchronization of subtle rhythms and phrases.
This is the second of a series of contemporary guitar concerts, hosted in the South Bay at the California Conservatory of Guitar, with additional performances in San Francisco. I can feel the excitement in the Friday evening audience being fed music with real spiritual sustenance. For the hungry. Check it out.
Don Huntley, firstname.lastname@example.org, 4/9/2012