[NoHo Arts District, CA] – A NoHo Arts music review of “Shankar Plays Shankar” featuring Anoushka Shankar on Sitar and conducted by Jaime Martin at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO).
With this, the final concert of the 2022/2023 season, the LACO seems to have outdone itself! Yet again!
Anoushka Shankar, daughter of the musical icon Ravi Shankar, played her father’s Concerto No 3. for Sitar, accompanied by the LACO conducted by the wonderful Jamie Martin. What a perfect combination of musicians and artists. All reaching for the same goal, a symbiosis of sounds, a melding of east and west and in waves of glorious resonant, cinematic musical poetry. It makes the soul sing.
Anoushka Shankar was born into music. One wonders how it would have been possible for her not to play. But her lineage can only account for the beginnings of her journey. She has taken what was taught and become something else entirely. An indefinable musical presence in the world. Genre-defying, cross pollinating and existential in her approach to music. She has made it her purpose to expand the possibilities of the Sitar sound. From classical to rock to cinema to electronic, all infinitely spiritual, emotional and profoundly beautiful.
This performance of her father’s work felt like a homecoming. There was a warmth and a sense of belonging to her playing that seemed to resonate from her and embrace the whole stage full of LACO’s truly remarkable musicians. The music they made together felt like love. It was the perfect ending to the season. A gift of a goodbye.
The waves of joy echoed through the applause in thanks for the enigmatic series of music and a hope for more to come in the 2023/2024 season.
There was also an astonishing world premiere of “HaZ’màn HaZèh” (translation: “this present time”) by 2022-23 LACO Sound Investment composer Marc Lowenstein. Lowenstein is the founding music director of The Industry, Los Angeles’ groundbreaking and widely acclaimed experimental opera company.
This particular piece is a prayer or a blessing. But the music itself was much more complex than one might imagine a simple prayer to be. Wild, challenging and utterly astonishing music. One moment like rain on water, the next ecstatic soundscapes and gorgeous musical movements. Absolutely astonishingly good. And of course, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra musicians and conductor Jamie Martin were breathtaking.
We were also treated to Bizet, piece after glorious piece, with some beautiful vocals by So for a season finale one could hardly ask for more!
What comes next for the brilliant Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra? Go to their website to find out! I am sure they will continue to explore the world of exquisite music with the same passion as always. And I hope to be right there with them!