Aftermath of an Electric Diamond
By John Foxworthy
Last night's performance by Electric Diamond was definitely electric to say the least. For me here in California the show had an even heavier impact. Electric Diamond's opening was accompanied by a heavy thunderstorm and closed with an international war.
As I sat back and listened I was surprised to discover what a Lyricon is, that Don Slepian is 50 and that this trio has performed at the Guggenheim Museum.
Electric Diamond started out the evening with an improvisational "jam" playing what seemed to be some ancient Druid or Welsh influenced classical piece that flowed flawlessly. When I learned that the entire selection was played on the flyI was floored. These guys have been playing together for decades, which just goes to demonstrate how three musicians can connect and become one.
Stuart Diamond's Lyricon intrigued me as I had never heard of the instrument. It is a wind instrument that transforms human breath into synthesized electronic impulses. The sound was simply unblemished and mixed well with the all electronic synthesizer Don was playing.
In the breaks between pieces Don took some time to introduce the other members of the ensemble. These conversational interludes proved to be both entertaining and educational and I learned a lot about Electric Diamond and the music they were playing.
Don Slepian played a spirited set of keys, always interesting and certainly right on the note. He also hosted the session in the true attitude we expect from AMC. The audience was appreciative and warm, I got the feeling of walking into "Cheers" from the group:).
Perhaps I was most taken by Karen Bentley and her violin. Her adaptation to the changes in the improv selections, her mastery over arpeggiated scales and her sheer control over her instrument all came together and made for the epitome of a disciplined classical musician. All in all, Electric Diamond put on a killer demonstration.
Now, I'd be lying if I were to say that this particular style of music was my bag, however, I am a lover of all music and a believer that all great musicians, no matter the genre, are great because they have opened their minds to all possibilities. Electric Diamond invoked some deep emotions for me and my wife. This was by far the best ArtMusic Coffeehouse yet!