A cello, a voice and a metallic drum – Manu Delago review

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Manu Delago with Chamber Orchestra
Laura Moody & Sarah McCreadie
St. John’s Church

In my panicked state, phone on one percent, stomach empty. I jumped in a taxi. My relationship with churches has always been distant, this was one that my friend had urinated on in the past. All I could hope that it wasn’t a sign. The intimate space was doing miseries to my claustrophobia as white wine covered my crotch, this occurred after a man had done his impression of an 18th-century magician. 

A man with a monotone voice came on stage, telling us about the exits. Once again I hoped this wasn’t a sign.

A cello appeared on the scene, this is never a normal occurrence but always a welcome one. Laura Moody’s charming murmurs move throughout the building, the audience fascinated by her. The merging of songwriter and cello feels like it would become pretentious very fast, she completely dodges this and it will always amaze me. She presented a raw energy that gifted the viewer with a vulnerable perversion. A cinematic flair lives within her, a living moment born from each note that she plays. She lives within us, an energy that people fear to present. She showed us a sonic adventure hard to live through but ever wanted. She is a living diary, shedding her life experiences on the stage. She is a poet, a wonder. Every once in a while, I find a past life liver.

I was woman

I was cello

I was there

In my sombre state, I realised that the night sang, a hum constantly in the air. A tone moving through the air. It was a perfect night to fall in love with pepper flavoured crisps.

I have a deep love for spoken word, a passion for poetry that has appeared throughout my life again and again. Sarah McCreadie will always be a personal favourite of mine, she has a solid place in my heart. She lightens the stage, she has a stage presence that I adore, she is a powerful performer with an artistic mind. The audience was filled with love, happiness and positivity is a deeply important part of Sarah’s poetry. She has an underlying motivational attitude that lives inside of her and her work. Her art matters to me and the world, her work beats with a constant mood changing ability and a linguistic liquidity that many would envy. The fearless female will prevail. Poets must change the world with their words, use notable quotables to meld minds. She radiates a beautiful vulnerability and strength. She bluntly comments on the nature of modern society, she creates a deep love and understanding in her audience and this is a powerful thing. She presents the universal yet deeply specific.

A powerful musical force builds on stage, a free-flowing meld of future and past. This force is the amazing Manu Delago with Chamber Orchestra, an ancient anarchism that is hard to find, a unique merging of worlds. A profound cinematic eccentricity. A rhythmic exploration that plays in the sandbox of musical wonders. A layered beauty and complexity that triggers the emotive and cognitive. The major theme that breathes through this evening is raw emotion merging with the intellectual. We are presented with a dreamlike fusion of the classical and the modern. There appeared to be a tension that cuts through the piece, a peaceful resolution that came when the composer was ready. He seems to be inspired by everyone, a sonic soup that mixes together every genre and inspiration. Home is where the ear is, the ability to make everyone feel comfortable in the new and unique is incredible.

Raw emotion and poetic flair move the evening from the special to the powerful, a silence living within us. This evening allowed the audience to join as one and experience raw emotion through the catalyst of art.

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