Review - Concert at Mercat De Les Flors
27/ 4/ 2001
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a concert of the artist Constance Demby in Barcelona. I learned many things there, but most important, it was the pleasing surprise to reaffirm what before already I thought: Electra-acoustical music is a universal music; a music that does not perish with time; the music of us all.
When entering the enclosure of the Mercat of the Floras, the intoxicating aroma of the art exposed there shocked me. The building, is as a chapel, yes, a modern one, and it said a premonition to us: that what was going to carry us away that night would be the expression from an art totally of explicit form.
Before the opening of the concert hall, of 98 armchairs (that were going to be all occupied), I was hoping with impatience to discover a great artist. We saw this one indeed, Mrs. Constance, as she left I do not know where, she went to the small bar of the side of the room, and dedicated to all those present (that was not going to be almost no public of their concert) a great kiss and pretty words in English. With this I try to fathom her paradoxically elegant modesty. A mature, good natured, amiable person, and over everything, modest.
Packed in the room, I myself in front of everything, having the small scene of not more than 2.5 X 2.5 meters, where the artist would do her performance. I paid attention to instruments: 2 samplers (like no, digitals) Kurzueil identical, a keyboard to master with offset keys, Dulcimer and a Hindu instrument, and of her design: there was the Space Bass.
Gentlemen and ladies, an acoustic instrument equipped with a steel plate of more than 2 square meters of curved surface, where iron rods subjected of different sizes. Really, she could not fit anything else in the scene.
Impatient, I saw as the woman (Rosa Zaragrosa) approached, surely an artist and organizer, and very briefly she explained the style to us of Constance. Later, Constance approached, and briefly presented to us her instruments in a concise form. Bass, her rare Dulcimer, displayed her imposing Space, and how no, her "orchestra digital cradled the samples," as she defined. That yes, made clear that she did not want applause, and requested to us that we enjoy the music and nothing else. And I ask myself, is possible to be doing something more when enjoying music? Although, I calculated that 2 or 3 more musicians were needed, which doubled my surprise when seeing that, Constance Demby took off her shoes, raised the scene and the lights were extinguished. She was going to be the only person upon the stage!
And thus, the concert began, of an hour and a half, with uninterrupted electronic and contemporary music, carried out by she herself. It is possible to say, within my ignorance, that I suppose that she connected her subjects, but if the one were only a subject yesterday. Pieces "of her music disadvantaged only by their separation" of needing to change site: first in front of the powerful synthesizer, later ahead (or in the middle) of her Space Bass, or in front of her special Dulcimer. It is possible to emphasize the following thing:
1) The Space Bass. With different toning rods, with ends of plastic, others with rubber ends, others of iron, and some more . . . pricked iron twigs, obtaining a sound of tubular bells, almost synthesized, could fade out low, penetrating and imposing (thanks to the resonance offered by the great steel plate lamination). With each rod, she obtained a different sound slightly, and depending on what iron twig got attention, she did not change the frequency of the sound so much as the number of overtones of the sound. She was splendid. Indefinable. Next, with the same toning rods, she scratched the curved lamination literally, obtaining therefore a sound sharp and metallic, similar to the pink noise of which Jean Michel Jarre makes finery in his interlude of Rendez Vous II - a deep sound, sometimes chirriante, worthy of a sound track of a film of Sam Raimi. It is only possible to say, that George Lucas is interested in her sound, and I imagine that he understood that he could use it for some effects for Star Wars.
2) The Dulcimer. Gentlemen, it was spectacular. The woman perfectly dominated the chromatic percussion of her acoustic dulcimer, thus working, simultaneously, the rate, the notes in allegro and her melody sung with her precious voice (that yes, reverberated). For me, the best parts of the subject, were the interpreted ones with the Dulcimer at issue. She was splendid, indescribable. It worked paradoxically again, worthy sequences of the Digi-sequencer de Jarre with her hands. She was superbly brilliant, brilliant.
3) Her synthesizers. Sometimes Constance, sitting in front of her three keyboards and her microphone, defined her sweet voice between the atmosphere that she herself created with samplers. With a few pedals, and the constant adjustment of the keys of the Kurzueil, she was able to modify the sounds, to change of programs and to even control the interpretation parameters, with a touch. She was incredible and is worthy of the redundancies [repetitions of praise].
Finally, when finalizing her concert, we fervently applauded her for more than 5 minutes, while she waved. The pretty thing, and what denoted under great experience, was that while we were applauding, she stepped to the side, and with her hands indicated to her instruments, meaning that the applause also went directed to them. Her music is the music that it has in mind, and that it wants to express by means of those instruments. Without her Space Bass, without her precious Dulcimer, and her digital synthesizers - that universal music, those feelings that any person can have - they would not be possible to have been materialized. Thank you Constance.
Good music, a mixture (if we put ourselves " to classify ") between Vangelis and Celtic, or contemporary. A night made - one night last - which we will not forget. With a universal music, impressible, and with the attendance of the diverse public (they had, children, young people, pairs, musicians... I took leave of Constance smiling to her, and she smiled back at me. I will never forget it.
Aleix Riera Buil