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Review: The Landscape Listens — and we heard, too

The Landscape Listens is the second concert of the Chamber Musicians of Kamloops 2021-2022 season
Chamber Musicians October 2021
Over a variety of musical styles and periods, soprano Rachel Casponi, trumpeter Daniel Mills and collaborative pianist Daniela O’Fee perform evocative works, that explore the intersection of poetry and music, by Peter Tiefenbach (with text by John V. Hicks), Jay Rizzetto (with text by Emily Dickinson), Sofia Gubaidulina, and George Frideric Handel.

An unusual combination of instruments and some stunning theatrics wowed a full house at Kamloops United Church on Oct. 16.

The Landscape Listens is the second concert of the Chamber Musicians of Kamloops 2021-2022 season.

Rachael Casponi’s voice mixed and matched with Daniel Mills on trumpet, while Daniela O’Fee on piano took the audience from Handel to Bernstein in the art of combining poetry and music. The range was striking.

We heard the strictly controlled, oft-repeated lines of Handel, the dense-with-meaning poetry of Emily Dickinson (against trumpet), the exaggerated vocals of contemporary composer Susan Botti and the heartfelt lyrics of Stephen Sondheim in three songs from West Side Story.

Midway through, O’Fee carefully “doctored” the piano using reel to reel tape, aluminum chains and strings of mini-lights.

In the course of accompanying Casponi’s wicked presentation of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, O’Fee struck the piano’s stings with a plastic fan, percussion brushes and mallets, rang a bell and magically used a scotch tape dispenser to recreate a snare drum.

It was a daring experiment that worked.

Another thrill for the audience was Mills’ playing of a work written by French composer, Gabriel Parés for a competition. The entire concert was a tour de force.

The concert can be viewed online through Saturday, Oct. 30. Tickets can be purchased online at chambermusiciansofkamloops.org and the concert can be viewed, repeatedly, at any time until then.

Next up is Flute Impressions. The live concert will take place on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m, at Kamloops United Church, downtown at St. Paul Street and Fourth Avenue. The concert can also be viewed online through Nov. 27. Tickets can be purchased online at chambermusiciansofkamloops.org.

Flute Impressions will be followed by Baroque Pearls on Dec. 4.