On Friday 27th January, Berklee’s highly anticipated Global Music Night took place at Fundacion Bancaja in Plaza Tetuán. The ensemble was made up of an international cast of students with different backgrounds and unique musical talents. Sharing the stage on Friday night, the students embraced the diversity to create something truly unique and foster a sense of shared identity uniting everyone through the universal language of music. From the get-go, the students made their presence felt addressing the audience and explaining how they sought to tell a story through their repertoire. As was captured in the introductory speech, the power of music lies in its ability to transcend boundaries as when words fail, music speaks.
The variety of music produced was impressive, ranging from uplifting melodic rhythms to staccato pieces. There were eight performers on stage: 3 violinists, a guitarist, a pianist, a drummer, a bass player, and a singer. Starting off on the piano with soft tones, the music gradually built up with the addition of the other instruments to produce a powerful crescendo of sound that was complemented by the reverberant space of the venue. It wasn’t long before the musicians departed from tradition with the unconventional strumming and picking of violin strings and the use of drum brushes. Utilising this style of drumstick, where a scratchy sound is produced when struck across the snare of the drum, reduces the impact and volume of the instrument. This type of drumstick, typically used in jazz, signalled their aim for a creation of a softer sound to complement the tones of the string instruments.
The repertoire journeyed through a range of musical styles… spanning popular, classical and jazz genres. Gifting the listeners with such variety, the music defies conventional categorisation. Part of the repertoire featured a violin ‘face-off’ where the musicians split the stage in half and performed to each other, which was as effective as it was entertaining. In this diverse musical repertoire, the musicians also used body percussion, the art of using the human body for the creation of sounds. The audience was later encouraged to clap along highlighting the inclusivity message of their performance and keeping the audience engaged. The combination of the body percussion and clapping somewhat juxtaposed the bliss and tranquillity of the singer’s soprano voice. A moment that particularly stood out was the singer’s rendition of ‘El tiempo está después’. Her vocal agility and passion created an emotional moment that contrasted the darker, more staccato elements of the repertoire. This furthers the idea of blurred musical boundaries and contributed to their successful blend of musical styles, forms and energy.
Alternating solos and each introducing a piece of the repertoire, the performers were of equal importance and prominence on stage. The camaraderie and support for one another was also clear to see. Despite the differences in musical styles and backgrounds, the musicians came together to create a musical experience full of imagination and free of prejudice. After thanking the audience for attending their concert, the musicians performed their final song with as much passion and enthusiasm as their first. The students of Berklee produced an inspiring musical repertoire that night, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats throughout and never flagging in their ability to impress.
Report by Imogen Hockings
Article copyright 24/7 Valencia
Photo copyright Imogen Hockings /’ 24/7 Valencia’
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