Esmerine in Vera
I read the announcement of the Esmerine gig on the Vera website and found that very intriguing. Then watching a live clip of them on Youtube clinched id, I had to see them! So off I was on Ascension Day, back to Groningen again.
I’ve loved the cello as an instrument ever since David Gilmour worked on his album ‘On an island’ and his website kept a blog on what was happening. It mentioned a certain Caroline Dale playing her cello parts for the album. Finding her album “Such Sweet Thunder” got me hooked on cello as I was taking my first steps into classical music.
A few years later I discovered Zoë Keating, a Canadian cello player, player her own compositions, using a lot of modern techniques but greatly expanding my love for cello music (really hope she’s do a few Dutch gigs sometime).
And though tonight’s gig of Esmerine is far from only based on cello, I was swept away by Beckie Foon’s playing. It was magnificent. But so was Bruce Cawdron on Marimba and Glockenspiel. These two form the basis for Esmerine and come from a fantastic Montreal alternative musical scene and have connections to Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt Zion, bands that I also love. Completing the band are Brian Sanderson on violin, guitar and trombone and Jamie Thompson on drums and percussion (and filling in on Marimba). But that was far from all, as the band has also taken Clea Minaker along, a visual artist creating images on a light table that were projected on a large screen behind the band, giving the whole concert a surreal feeling.
Musically it was absolute bliss, I was gob-smacked. Can not remember having ever heard something that so totally took me in. Hearing the cello live in a setting like that was pure joy. I truly wish more people would have come to this gig as they totally deserved a sold-out Vera but I was very pleased to see that most of the visitors bought one or two albums. One of the most beautiful gigs I have ever seen!