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Friday, October 17
Each work embraced an inventive array of amplified percussive resources from ancient and modern sound worlds. The standard drum kit shared the stage with other recognized instruments such as Samoan drums, round chrome balls, xylophones and glockenspiels. Their sounds were embellished with some improvised instruments as brushes on long ropes which swept the floor and slapped various shapes of board in a wheel and drums held in the circle by the other performers.
There were various sized cymbals strung up on a bell rope like a wind chime and swung around. Performers also slapped their cheeks, clicked their fingers made great use of syncopated hand clapping and foot stamping with a delightfully relaxed set of choreographic moves. There were tribal beats and backstreet dubstep.
An intriguing array of illuminations were formed by the instruments themselves, moving slides and shadow play. Particularly arresting were the crystal patterns resembling ice flakes. A reflective section called "Shiva" inspired by shimmering eastern sounds was accompanied by amorphous swirls. Another containing sweet melodies was framed by blurred familial photos. Various performers were zoomed on this same backdrop to form an orchestra of sounds including pipes, guitar, balalaika, voice and piano to augment that of the six percussionists onstage and the electronic loops.
The audience was also only too happy to accept the invitation to join in and experience first hand the excitement and infectious enjoyment of their craft exhibited by the performers. Strike is indeed a strikingly inventive and formidably talented ensemble who with composer Psathas have created an engagingly compulsive sound.
- Reviewed by Marian Poole