Weaving dreams with classical and pop music -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Weaving dreams with classical and pop music

By: Peerzada Salman

KARACHI: It was a bit of an anomaly listening to a classic Philip Glass composition and a popish song in which a girl is trying to discover herself one after the other, but it worked to a great extent. Music lovers were treated to some sublime (and not so sublime) songs at a concert titled Weaving Dreams featuring Pakistani singers Zoe Viccaji and Rachel Viccaji and the US-based band Cultures in Harmony at T2F on Friday evening. Those who were there thoroughly enjoyed themselves which is testimony to the delightful musicianship of all the participating artists.

The gig kicked off with a cute little rendition of the Pakistani national anthem by Cultures in Harmony, after which Zoe Viccaji belted out the famous Duffy tune ‘Mercy’. She sang it with a lot of heart but one felt when the vocalist hit higher notes she tended to get a little flat.

The real deal began after that and elevated the concert to a different level. Cultures in Harmony played Contrapunctus (the art of fugue) by J.S. Bach. William Harvey of the band informed the audience about the composition. He said it was about counterpoint, as in two different voices combined to make one beautiful sound. All the four band members, Emily Holden (violin), Holly Jenkins (violin), William Harvey (violin) and Peter Myers (cello) played with understanding and flair. The violin-cello dialogue was wonderful to hear, especially when it touched the shorter, sweeter notes. The up and down tempo, highlighted by the deep sound of the cello, was special.

Next was the piece de resistance of the show. It was Philip Glass’ string quarter number 5. The 17-minute track had five movements. It started off with a gentle sound, moved towards a groovier pattern, then became dramatic, then melancholic and finally reached its climax.

The audience wholeheartedly appreciated the four musicians when they heightened the mood of the composition and brought it down with a natural flow.

Next up Zoe Viccaji sang a song which she had written in 2008 when she had returned from the US and was trying to figure out what to do with her life. To be honest, after listening to the string quarter number 5, it was a bit of an aberration, especially bearing in mind that the song, among other things, had sounds that a cat makes. She followed it up by Summer Time. However, Rachel Viccaji’s version of the famous Suzanne Vega song ‘Caramel’ was praiseworthy. Despite the fact that she made an effort to make her voice sound plush like Vega’s, she crooned it beautifully.

The only Urdu song of the evening sung by Zoe Viccaji (from her upcoming album) was a decent effort. And then Cultures in Harmony presented a Dan Visconti composition. It was a delight to lend an ear to. The effect of the approaching and receding train (as told by Peter Myers) was out of the ordinary. The audience received it with thunderous applause.

The last two numbers of the concert were ‘Weaving a Dream’ (written by Zoe’s mother) and the Beatles’ ‘Come Together’.

Dawn