Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cello-Vision Niagara This Week Interview

  • Mike Zettel
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  • Feb 23, 2010 - 8:20 PM
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Cello-Vision at NAC an audio-visual journey

Cello-Vision at NAC an audio-visual journey. Cellist Gordon Cleland and multi-media artist Marinko Jareb combine their talents for “Cello-Vision” which is being performed Friday, Feb. 26 at the Niagara Artists’ Centre. COURTESY PHOTO

Audiences walking off St. Paul Street into the Niagara Artists’ Centre this Friday night will be greeted with sounds unlike anything they’ve heard before.

The other-worldly music, courtesy of multi-media artist Marinko Jareb, is not a part of the main working he’s performing in but more of a warm up act.

He likens the electronic composition to a palette-cleansing, something to prepare the ears for what is coming next.

“Very distinctly, we want to clear out people’s eardrums, give them an other-worldly sound,” he said.

The work that follows is a collaboration between Jareb and St. Catharines Chamber Music Society cellist Gordon Cleland.

Cleland initiated the project years after Jareb approached the Niagara Symphony with a similar concept. Then director Daniel Swift put out a call to individual musicians after explaining to Jareb the logistics and expenses involved with hiring the full orchestra to play alongside his images.

The work, a chance to bring chamber music to a whole new audience, also involves Toronto actor Peter Higginson and the direction of Stray Theatre director Peter Feldman.

The nearly 90-minute program involves four pieces of music: Sonnets by Nicole Carigan; Gallery Suite by Robert Muczynski, who wrote nine movements based on paintings by Charles Burchfield; After Reading Shakespear by Ned Roren, which involves Higginson reading out selections that inspired the muisc; and finally La Rosa Variations by Milton Barnes, a piece with a Spanish stylistic flair that commemorates the expulsion of the Hebrew people from Spain in 1492.

Cleland said the music, although classical in style, is contemporary. And by pairing it with Jareb’s visuals, the entire performance surrounds the audience.

“The idea is you’re pulled right into the entire piece,” he said. “You’re pulled right into it and you experience music from the inside.”

The music, he said, was written specifically for the cello and takes the instrument in every direction it can go.

“Pretty much anything you can imagine a cello being able to do is going to be done,” he said. “It really uses the instrument to its full potential.”

Jareb said the collaboration allowed him the opportunity to expand his horizons beyond the techno and house music he creates visual for at Toronto and Montreal parties. The challenge was in slowing down the pace from the typically quick percussive fare he works with, and using more subtle imagery appropriate for the lyrical music.

“When you’re ‘rocking the show’ it’s got to be a lot more punchy and over-the-top,” he said.

While all the still images and video components that make up the show will be pre-edited, in order to synch with the music they will be switched by him live.

“He’s (Cleland) not going to be responding to my visuals,” he said. “It’s sort of the other way around.”

Cello-Vision will be performed at 7:30 p.m. at 354 St. Paul St.

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