SIMON Thacker is a classical guitarist and Svara-Kanti is his ensemble that weaves together Western and Asian music, drawing mainly on contemporary classical influences.
The concert was billed as a performance of recently commissioned compositions.
The opening piece, Great Comet, I thought had Spanish influences. Tabla player Sarva Sabri’s percussive drumming had a flamenco semblance that fused effectively with Thacker’s guitar. Throughout the evening Jacqueline Shave’s violin added colour and range to the performance. However, I felt everything blossomed on the pieces where vocalist Japjit Kaur was involved.
A major part of the concert was Swar Amant, a composition by influential American minimalist Terry Riley for guitar, violin and tabla during which I found my attention drifting.
Perhaps the highlight was Nigel Osborne’s composition, The Five Elements. Vocalist Japjit Kaur gave the piece a vibrancy. Her controlled singing was what I imagine most of the audience will have been talking about on the way home.
The concert was certainly different, unusual and varied.
The performance had the stifling formality that is associated with classical concerts and I prefer more spontaneity and interaction between musicians and audience.
Often people comment that there is music that they will enjoy live but wouldn’t listen to at home.
Svara-Kanti involves interesting music that I think people are more likely to enjoy at home than performed live in concert.