Art / ‘Force Of Nature’, Catherine Woo and ‘The Sea And The Folded Cloth’, Thornton Walker. Beaver Galleries. 18 October – 4 November. Reviewed by ROB KENNEDY.
THE first of three Jane Rutter “salons” at The Street Theatre, “Flute Spirits & the Seasons”, was a delightfully relaxed evening of fine music, ranging from classical to modern and nicely judged international items in between.
Joined on stage by Aboriginal elder Gavi Duncan, on didgeridoo, the performance commenced with “The Minstrel Boy”. The combination of flute and didgeridoo produced a delicate and timeless sound that was very enjoyable.
This was followed with a nicely balanced set of works by Debussy, Vivaldi, Devienne, Irving Berlin and Ross Edwards as well as mystical Indian and melodic Irish pieces. Electronic loops added an extra dimension to some items and Rutter gave additional meaning to the music with well-spoken linking prose by writers such as Patrick White, Anaïs Nin and Persian poet, Rumi.
The standouts for me were the Chinese song, “Far Distant Places”, “Spirit of the Earth” with the words of Patrick White from “Voss”, “Yugala – Pan and the Brolgas”, “Kokopelli and Esu Talk of Home” and Rutter’s distinctive arrangement of Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies”.
Ten solo gold, silver, bamboo classical and ethnic flutes and whistles were played during the performance with Rutter giving an interesting explanation of the qualities of each of them.
With her down-to-earth, relaxed delivery, she shared her obvious love for her instruments with an audience. There is nothing remote about her performance. You don’t just watch her perform – she has the ability to draw you in and become part of it all.
Continuing the “salon” experience in the foyer, there was champagne after the performance with the opportunity to mingle and chat with Rutter, Duncan and other audience members. Two more Jane Rutter “salons” will follow in October and November.