“My companion was not sure of what to expect, and so was surprised by the beauty and harmony of this music. In fact she was so overcome at one point that she was moved to tears by the soulfulness expressed by these performers and their music.” – Huntington Concert Series – International Music Day, October 2003
Wednesday, September 31, 2003 was International Music Day. The second of this seasons Huntington Concert series took place at St Andrews church in downtown Sudbury. The special guests were the Orchid Ensemble with their unique blend of Eastern and Western music entertained and inspired their audience.
As a teenager I had a small collection of albums of Asian and Eastern music given to me by a friends dad. Quite honestly I was excited by the opportunity to see this music performed, and not just hear it. My companion was not sure of what to expect, and so was surprised by the beauty and harmony of this music. In fact she was so overcome at one point that she was moved to tears by the soulfulness expressed by these performers and their music.
The nice thing with this group is how no one individual is centre stage. Each performer had a turn introducing, and explaining the origins of a piece, and while the erhu (roughly pronounced air-oo) an instrument similar to a violin (follow this link for more details on these instruments) was dominant because of its sound and melodic qualities, the zheng (roughly sj-ung) and the percussion also had plenty of opportunities in the spotlight. I was very impressed with the overall quality of this performance, and especially found this trio’s togetherness as a performing unit to be very refreshing. The dynamics flowed from this group in such a graceful fashion that it sounded as though we were listening to a recording at times. The Orchid Ensemble also performed several pieces composed by Moshe Denburg, a Canadian composer who has studied Eastern music, and has written some very interesting new pieces for this group. I would highly recommend that you see the Orchid Ensemble if you get the chance, and also check out their CDs on sale from their web site.