Saturday, 20 October 2012

24 Hours in Lapa

Last night I had the privilege of being in the audience for "24 Hours in Lapa" at the Melbourne Festival.  It was only on for one night.  I hope there will be a recording available.  You can hear a snippet on the link above and also read about the story that inspired the work - the death of a man in the streets of Lapa (a suburb of Rio de Janeiro)

I've long been a fan of the Raah Project's music and when I heard about this work, I knew I had to go.  Tamil Rogeon is the composer and he's amazing.  He also plays electric violin and conducts.

Last night's concert was in the magnificent Elisabeth Murdoch Hall at the Melbourne Recital Centre and featured Orchestra Victoria and a Brazilian samba rhythm section.  It was not possible for me to sit still for the duration of the concert.  The sound was incredible!  Every time I hear an orchestra play live, it reminds me of how inadequate recorded music really is.  It's so special to be in the place while the music is being made.

I had a wonderful view of the very hard-working percussionist and was pleased to discover how the authentic sounding dog yelp is made in sample.  (By scraping on the inside of a drum is the best way I can describe it.)  Seeing him also gave me a new appreciation of the technicalities of playing the triangle!

The only criticism I had was that I couldn't understand the two vocalists.  Their voices sounded wonderful, but I couldn't make out the words.  I'm not sure if it was a case of where I was sitting (seems unlikely in that magnificent hall) or poor diction.

That aside, I'm so glad I decided to go.  One of the things I love about the Melbourne Festival is that there are often shows like last night's that are only on for one night and haven't been performed before.  So being adventurous and taking a punt is the way to go.  I've only had wonderful experiences using this method.

My next Festival outing will include a performance of John Cage's "4'33''".  I wrote an assignment about this piece for senior music at high school but have never witnessed (or should I say "participated" in a performance?), so I'm pleased to have this opportunity.  Find out more here.


  1. Ahh 4'33". It's a memorable piece. I must say that I didn't get Cage at all in high school but having heard more of his work I now think that he was pretty clever. I've never 'heard' 4'33" either. You must tell us how it goes. (My equivalent assignment was on Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of the Faun". I like that one more now than I did back then too.)

  2. Ah Debussy - very different from Cage. I too have more of an appreciation of what Cage was on about. Can't wait to witness the performance. Will definitely write about the experience!