Friday, 25 January 2013

Review: Lubomyr Melnyk

Sometimes you have to trust your friends. Two weeks ago I was told by a friend that this unbelievable pianist is playing in Berlin soonish and I defintely should go see him. My friend could not go and needed a report. First of all, I'm not a big fan of piano music. I know there was a big excitement about musicans like Peter Broderick, Dustin O'Halloran or Nils Frahm and this whole mordern classical genre, but to be honest this is completely not my cup of tea.

So I took another friend, who also had no idea what to expect, to see Lubomy Melnyk at Haus Ungarn (ex-hbc) last Friday. Freezing cold outside and pretty crowded inside. Waiting in the queue to get our tickets we checked our Wikipedia knowledge. Lubomyr Melnyk is a Canadian composer and pianist of Ukrainian origins who has pioneered Continuous Music in the late 70s. What? Okay, we'll see.

Shortly after seating ourselves Mr Melnyk appeared on stage and introduced his first piece and started playing. So, now here is the difficult part: how to describe this? I have no idea what happened and no words to make sure you would understand what we heard. It felt like waves of sounds running into cirlces. More drones than melodies. Very soothing and calming. Almost meditative. Sometimes it sounded like there was another piano played on stage. Spooky, but very beautiful.

Between every tune he explained very entertainingly what he played and where the idea came from. Honestly, I didn't get his (crude to me) theory about Continuous Music. Sounded way to esoteric with words like leaving time and space and comparing his music to wuxia movie Hero, but when he sat at his piano again he had me entirely.  

For his last song he invited special guest and fellow piano comrade Nils Frahm on stage and they played a song together. Not the best tune of the evening in my opinion, but I guess the audience liked it a lot and were happy to see Nils as he was announced before.

We were convinced and satisfied like everyone else and left the fancy Haus Ungarn in search of a place to have a cup of coffee, but didn't find something appropriate. But this again is another boring Berlin story.

1 comment: