Cross Linx 2016

This year marks the 15th edition of the Cross Linx festival, the festival that aims to bring new ‘avant-garde’ popmusic and mix it up. To bring unexpected musical combinations and add a touch of that magic classical tough. This years edition had a few interesting surprises again.

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Noorderzon day 4

There was lots and lots of music at Noorderzon again on Sunday. Starting with a huge line of people outside the Spiegeltent waiting to get in. Not much change of getting a ticket for Sun Kil Moon then. Fortunately there were more then enough other options. Starting with a bit of culture.

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Lindsey Stirling in De Oosterpoort

Looking at the upcoming concerts of the Oosterpoort venue the description of a certain Lindsey Stirling caught my eye: ” the first artist to convincingly combine classical violin with modern dance” and “using a unique combination of classical violin and electronic dubstep”. I couldn’t help but be intrigued. Also I was really hoping for her there would at least be a somewhat decent turn-up at the concert. Apearently I missed the part about her having millions of fans around the world and having made it to the quarter finals of ‘America’s Got Talent’, the place was packed! Only two concerts in the Netherlands and they’re both a huge success. So I needn’t have worried about that :-)

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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.

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Calefax Reed Quintet in Vera

The fourth edition of ‘De Derde Helft’ (The Third Half) took place on April 14th. An initiative of Timon Abels and Klaas ten Holt,  it is a series of modern classical concerts, held to introduce modern classical music to a new, younger audience.

Last night the Calefax Rietkwintet (a Reed quintet  and considered to be one of the most successful chamber ensembles from Europe) performed in Vera. They played -fully unplugged- on instruments like saxophones, oboes clarinets and a bassoon (and still managed to reach well into 90dB’s in the back of the hall).

The evening started with a movieclip by Calefax called ‘Studies On Nancarrow’. A bit odd, but a funny way to start the evening. After that the quintet entered the stage and played some pieces, ranging from an adaption of a 14th century classical piece to a modern piece inspired by the 9/11 attack of 2001.

In the second set they premiered a piece by Heleen Verleur and played another composition (sorry, I’m not yet that well known into the world of classical music to remember all of this ;). They also played a composition arranged around the alto saxophone solo from Billie Holliday’s ‘The Man I Love’.

The third set (i.e. The Third Half) was a highly experimental piece of work. Quite interesting, but also a bit hard to follow. Students of the Frank Mohr-institute have created an application that will allow to influence parameters of displayed music. On a big screen at the back of the stage music was displayed and the musicians were asked to interpret this in their own way. Musical notes would be cropped together, stretched, flow from right to left or left to right and would appear in different colours. The four musicians on stage (two of the Calafax ensemble  and two volunteers) sat with their backs to the audience in order to see the screen and play the music. It took a while for the musicians to get in the right flow, but once they did, it turned into an interesting piece of work

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