Could there have been a better way to end this 69th season? From the moment the two young men that are Gravity Duo leapt up onto the Grammar School stage to perform their opening fanfare, ‘Okavango’, on African drums, I’m sure everyone knew they were in for something very special.
Now a percussion concert demands to be seen as well as heard. The instruments are so many and so varied, some purely percussive, others pitched and melodic – like the marimba and vibraphone, standing there foremost on the floor: a full drum kit and more up on the stage; with scatterings of who knows what – cymbals, shakers, a violin bow strategically placed. Add to that amazing manual dexterity and the choreography their performance demands! Two young chaps but full orchestra. Wow!
An eclectic repertoire, arranged or original, stretched from Bach to the present, embracing classical, folk, dance inspired, film and pop, all cleverly put together with calm, reflective and melodious pieces to contrast the fastest, furious, loudest drumming. ‘Ellen Vannin’ from Peter’s birthplace, the Isle of Man, so sensitively played and sung was flanked by a piece from Pirates of the Caribbean and their own ‘Head 2 Head’. Admirable is their use and mutual control of dynamic.
The good fun and friendliness in their introductions, that held all together, proved to be infectious. In no time we were all at a party, fit to complete our season. At the interval the chatter seemed more exuberant than usual. This duo are dedicated to workshops as well as entertainment and not surprisingly, I gathered their visit to a local school that afternoon had been a great success and with several others on the following day, as part of the club’s outreach programme, I was reminded of our son, returning from primary school after a performance in the early 1970s by James Blades, and yes, he still remembers, what an impression it made all those years ago.
As we look forward to our 2019-20 season, I do hope there is sufficient support to have the suggested dinner to celebrate our 70th birthday. Party mode seems to suit us!