mon 18/12/2017

Vindauga (Wind Eye) featuring Sam Lee, Kings Place | reviews, news & interviews

Vindauga (Wind Eye) featuring Sam Lee, Kings Place

Vindauga (Wind Eye) featuring Sam Lee, Kings Place

Encounters to cherish with Norwegian and Scottish players

Vindauga: swirling Scottish tunes and mythic Norwegian folk songsSimon Broughton

It’s the seventh Songlines Encounters festival, with musical meetings ranging from Portugal (Thursday’s Ricardo Ribeiro) to India (Friday’s Bollywood Brass Band with South Indian violinist Jyotsna Srikanth). Its closing Saturday night saw English folk singer, song collector and consort of the nightingale, Sam Lee, with Vindauga, a quartet of musicians from Norway and Scotland – singer Unni Lovlid, hardanger fiddler Erlend Apnesath, Scottish violin player Sarah-Jane Summers, Juhani Silvola on electric and acoustic guitar, and the harmonium of Andreas Utnem.

Their repertoire ranged from swirling Scottish tunes through haunting Hardanger refrains to mythic Norwegian folk songs that featured giant crows fashioned into boats, and a lovelorn man’s lyric of despair returning to haunt him via the airwaves. Sam Lee’s repertoire, adapted from the traveller and gypsy traditions, shared that magic and melancholy in the likes of "Tanyard Side", with Lee’s fine baritone supported by a spectral musical presence, and "The Linden Tree", closing the concert’s superb second half.

The acoustivcs of Hall One are exquisite, and Sam Lee and Vindauga filled it with exquisite moments

After the opening set of songs, Lee explained how the woodwork lining the ceilings and walls of Hall One at Kings Place came from a single oak tree, but that it was a veneer, covering the chipboard underneath. “We are musical chipboard,” he joked to fairly nervous laughter from the players, but it is a wonderfully counterintuitive image for the contemporary folk process – the amalgamating of fragments into solid and universal wholes. The acoustics of Hall One are exquisite, and the music of Sam Lee and Vindauga filled it with exquisite moments, right to the closing notes of "The Linden Tree", which, as Lee pointed out, is just about to flower across London.

Here at Kings Place we celebrated encounters of mutual exploration and celebration. Alas, on the other side of town another deadly kind of encounter was unfolding between an Islamist death cult and the city’s spirit of revelry. We must continue to foster humanity and shared beauty and understanding. It is what living in London is about. 

@CummingTim

 

Here at Kings Place we celebrated encounters of mutual exploration and celebration

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