Monday, March 19 , 2018, 5:40 pm | Overcast 62º


Gerald Carpenter: Camerata Pacifica to Offer Its Signature Blend of Classic and Contemporary

The stellar chamber music association Camerata Pacifica will play its February concerts at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hahn Hall on the Music Academy of the West campus, 1070 Fairway Road in Santa Barbara.

Gareth Farr
Gareth Farr's music draws on much of the Southwest Pacific for its inspiration.

The Camerata members performing will be pianist Adam Neiman, percussionist Ji Hye Jung and flautist Adrian Spence — who is, of course, founder and artistic director of Camerata.

The 7:30 p.m. concert will consist of Johann Sebastian Bach's Sonata for Solo Violin No. 1 in G-Minor, BWV 1001(arr. Ji Hye Jung); Bohuslav Martinu’s Sonata for Flute and Piano, H. 306 (1945); four solo piano pieces by Frederic ChopinBallade No. 2 in F-Major, Opus 38, Nocturne in Db-Major, Opus 27, No.2, Waltz No. 7 in C#-Minor, Opus 64, No. 2, Nocturne in F#-Major, Opus 15, No. 2; plus two works by contemporary New Zealanders — "Kembang Suling" for Flute and Percussion by Gareth Farr (born in 1968) and One Study One Summary by John Psathas (born in 1966).

Those attending the 1 p.m. lunchtime concert will hear all but the Farr and Psathas pieces.

Adrian Spence continues to be an ideal impresario for contemporary, and near contemporary, music. There is never too much, and what there is has been chosen with exquisite taste.

The representative work of official European Modernism, the Martinu sonata, is sensuous, elegant, sometimes playful, occasionally haunting, frequently beautiful and always coherent. (No question here of playing "Bite-the-bourgeois-hand-that-feeds-you.") The two works from New Zealand are — each in its own way — hypnotically listenable, broadly minimalist in their tapestry construction, but not so rigidly architectural and sterile as the American proponents of the theory.

"Kembang Suling" is in three parts, which are characterized, by the program notes for the 1996 premiere, as follows: "I. On the magical island of Bali, flowing gamelan melodies intertwine with the sound of the 'suling' (Balinese bamboo flute) to form rich colourful tapestries. The marimba and flute start out as one, their sounds indistinguishable. Bit by bit the flute asserts its independence, straying further and further from the marimba melody. An argument ensues — but all is resolved at the climax. II. The haunting sounds of the Japanese ‘shakuhachi’ flute float out over the warm echoes of the rolling landscape. III. Complex rhythms and South Indian scales set the two instruments off in a race to see who can outplay the other. The marimba is set in a three bar cycle of 5/4 + 5/8 + 5/6 but the flute plays a different cross rhythm each time, returning to the marimba’s pattern at the end of every cycle."

His publishers describe the Psathas work as follows: "One Study One Summary was composed by John Psathas for Portuguese percussion virtuoso Pedro Carneiro, who first performed the work at the 'Rhythm Sticks' Festival in London in 2005. Carneiro has since performed it across New Zealand, Japan, and most recently, the Percussive Arts Society International Conference (PASIC) in Austin, Texas, USA on 8 November 2008. This work is for soloist and tape, and having been composed for Carneiro, takes advantage of the performer's collection of 'junk percussion'. This edition features two options for performance: live marimba and junk percussion, with audio; or live marimba only, with audio."

This rather clinical and logistic treatment gives no hint of the dark colors and mysterious textures of the work in performance.

For tickets and other concert information, call the Camerata Pacifica at 805.884.8410 or visit its website by clicking here.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >