Nicholas Williams on the Shiva Nova ensemble at the Purcell
Musicians of Shiva Nova have been creating their own performance
traditions since the ensemble was founded five years ago to cross
boundaries between Asian and European. This summer, jazz improvisation
and African drumming were added to their programme, and featured
at the second of two Purcell Room recitals.
Carpenter's caberet-style The Trouble with Geraniums, a commission
and world premiere, provided a surreal context of nine nonsense
poems by Mervyn Peake.
like this can be expected at a Shiva Nova concert. When nothing
is what it seems, anything is possible; and in the case of the Carpenter,
this included outrages sitar riffs against piano vamps in the title
song and tabla exchanging pleasantries with cello and flute in I
cannot give the reasons. There was even a hint of Puccini in
the tabla plus sitar plus synthesizer grouping of the Interlude.
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