Monday, September 29, 2014


Chamber Cartel presented Anthony Donofrio's V:oratio secreta, at Erickson Clock on Saturday, September 27, 2014.  Erikson Clock is a former factory building that has been repurposed into an art gallery/performance space.  It is rich with wood and redolent  of cedar.  Its wall are of brick but its innards are wood everywhere.  AMC highly recommends a visit and kudos to the Goat Farm for maintaining such an historic property.

AMC has included a bio on Mr. Donofrio and Caleb Herron's program notes on the work.  AMC is a tad concrete so appreciation  to Mr. Herron for attempting to  put into words something so ethereal as this work.

The piece last fors 90 minutes, without break and apparently without sections or movements. AMC was a bit skeptical initially since the first part seemed to be random notes, each played with a crescendo.  But as the piece emerged there was some beautifully lyrical moments for the flute (Matthieu Clave), clarinet (including the bass clarinet) (Corine Klemenc, and piano (amy O"Dell).  The viola part (Katie Taylor) did not seem to have these focused lyrical moments, but nevertheless it added it rich, dark punctuations. The percussion was played by the Cartel's music director Caleb Herron.  By the end of the piece, AMC was not in the room (figuratively, that is).  V is one of those pieces that enables- no, encourages- reverie.  AMC has always liked the minimalist style of composition because of its ability to support disconnection from formal reality to a more free association of thought.  Well, Mr. Donofrio has managed to do the same with is work.  For AMC it was as if focused consciousness was able to take a holiday.  And for that, AMC is grateful because it is such a joyful experience.  It was anxiety or tension-free listening.

There were about 40 people at the event.  There was much going on concert-wise on Saturday night, but a few people had the good sense to join Chamber Cartel in this magnificent performance in this wonderful performing space. A Chamber Cartel concert attracts the hipster crowd and that is a good thing.

There were several extraneous sound events during the performance.  A train passing by, loud autos, and enthusiastic revelers.  But in the end, they didn't matter. By the strength of Donofrio's music and the Chamber Cartel performance these sounds flitted in and out of the music, but it did not matter.

Thanks to the performers, benefactors, and patrons that made this concert possible.

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