Sunday, October 25, 2020

Arthur Street Loft Orchestra - Elliot Vaughan and Tristan Carter

Arthur Street Loft OrchestraAfter many moons away, I’ve moved back to Wellington. The last time I lived here was 2009, in some ways things haven’t changed much... in some ways. It would be nice to document some of the gigs I attend to try and kick start getting back to a somewhat semi regular blog schedule. It has been taking of a sideline to the radio show (which hasn’t had much of a mention here... I need to work on that). It’s not the first gig attended since the move (a couple of weeks ago), just the first I’ve written about. In fact, following my first day at the new job, the Arthur Street Loft Orchestra (ASLO) was just the ticket.

This week the Arthur Street Loft Orchestra featured works by Elliot Vaughan and Tristan Carter. Having heard Tristan with The Troubles and The Noveltones, I was keen to hear what he came up with for a large ensemble. I hadn't heard any of Elliot's music before. This time around the ensemble was a ten-piece - 2x violin, 2x bass, viola/voice, cello, drums, bass clarinet, trombone and baritone sax. I wasn’t too keen on the music playing as everyone was milling about... not hitting the mood of what was to come. It would have bugged me if I was about to play. But the opening blast put an end to that! And it was a very enjoyable night of music with a bit of, if not everything, then plenty - raucousness, shuffle, swing, abstraction, fun, even some more tender moments. At times there was bit of a 'The Troubles' vibe, not surprising as 6 or 7 of this incarnation of ASLO are regulars with John Rae's group. A couple of things popped out when I looked at my (very messy) notes the next day. The first piece, "Surreal Multiverse", paired sections of the ensemble - horns/strings, strings/rhythm, and rhythm/horns - for a long time before the entire unit played together. Subtle yet very effective as I waited for the full group sound to be revealed. The penultimate piece was a three-part suite. The last movement wound down the evening beautifully and harnessed cellphones in an unexpectedly enjoyable way. For me, that could have been it for the night, but they played one more piece. It made for a much more energetic end to the night. The only thing wrong with the piece was its placement in the programme.... I minor complaint. It sounds like there are a couple of interesting shows coming up, so I'll try and keep up a bit of blog momentum.