Amateur musicians are justifiably in awe of their professional counterparts. We struggle with rhythm, tempo, dynamics, intonation, and sight reading. They’ve mastered all that and more at an early age. It is all maddening especially the sight reading part. I’d do a deal with Mephisto in a heartbeat if I could do that without actually working for it. But, on the positive side, we schmoes reap the benefits of the pro’s superior talent and diligence in concert. The USC Thornton School sent five graduate students to Rolling Hills last Sunday for a rollicking ‘Trout Quintet’ to a packed and savvy house. Fine ensemble playing by a group that assembled and converged for this event. It was damned hard not to hum along, especially with the fourth movement. Video/audio to be posted if made available.
Surrealism fanciers, especially those of René Magritte, will be interested in the eventual performance of ‘Ordinary Objects’ by Strings & Things Puppet Theatre – a work-in-progress recently closed at Son of Semele’s Company Creation Festival. Director Joyce Hutter and a small ensemble look at the painter’s deconstruction and reconstruction of the women in his life through his deep dreamlike world of bowler hats, bilboquets, and bottomless pupils.
Magritte continues to fascinate the lay person although few of us can explain why. As an artist, Hutter is much farther along that road, letting various storytelling methods contend in workshop to see how best to convey her message. Movement, video, and some beguiling shadow puppetry alternate as the piece pokes at the modern psyche through the Belgian’s lens. A remarkable connection between surrealism and film noir and a recurring chess theme that simultaneously confuse and intrigue. One hopes that these win out over some of the talkier Freudian bits. The early look clocked in at a snappy forty five minutes but there’s promise here of a longer, richer evening.
Youtube Channel: Joyce Hutter