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Concert notes: China, Korea and Syria at Club Inégales

At Club Inégales on 23 July...

The final gig of Club Inégales’ current season was predictably unpredictable. You know the format in advance, but you never know what the outcome will be. The house band, or subsets of it, improvise in the first set; in the second set the guests solo; and in the third set everyone plays together, cross fertilising different musical histories and heritages in a fusion which for me has always produced inspirational results.

Cheng Yu on pipa played an interesting (and virtuoso) piece from the 1960s which itself was Janus-like, looking back to traditional music while incorporating more western elements; Maya Youssef on kanun played an early 20th century piece which demonstrated to great effect the piquancy of the temperament of the music; and Kim Hyelim demonstrated both court and folk music on two daegeums.

The third set lived up to expectations: three pieces by Pieter Wiegold with one by Purcell each provided opportunity for spontaneity and experimentation with a combination of instruments which on paper should never work but which (when you hear it in practice) seem obvious partners for each other.

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