January 26, 2010

John Cale: "Eight Hands" review

John Cale in Sydney (c) Peter Andrew

Australian Stage has a review of the Eight Hands performance in Hobart, January 22. Four pianists took the stage: Andrew Legg, Gabriella Smart, Paul Grabowsky and John Cale:

John Cale, meanwhile, the final performer, was a benevolent Rumpelstiltskin, his piano not a loom but a spinning wheel, as he nodded his sleepy head and paddled his right foot up and down. He, like Smart, sits at the piano as a sort of matter-of-fact necromancer, making magic happen. And, indeed, Cale did create a literal sort of magic: his piano was hooked up to a synthesiser, which set forth random and fascinating patterns (a call and response, perhaps somehow akin to what gospel music does?), as though the music had taken on a life of its own.

Cale presented two improvised pieces – “Peace in the Rigging,” dreamlike and sentimental, “Glenn Gould at Work and At Play,” sprightly, whimsical and with a more direct use of synthesiser effects. At 67, renowned as a living icon, it’s nice to know that Cale, in fact, doesn’t take himself too seriously. With his skinny jeans and pink and bleached hair, he’s an ageless figure, full of energy and ideas and as relaxed in front of an audience as you or I might be in front of our TV at home.

» australianstage.com.au

(Thanks: Nolan - photo: Peter Andrew)

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