Redhooker at Le Poisson Rouge


Redhooker at Le Poisson Rouge

Last Sunday I went to see Redhooker and Arturo en el Barco at Le Poisson Rouge.  Arturo en el Barco (AEEB) was the “opener” for Redhooker even though they appeared afterward.   AEEB is headed by Angélica Négron, a member of my composer consortium Circles and Lines, so I won’t be reviewing them as it would be a conflict of interest except to say that (as always) she was great.

Redhooker is headed up by guitarist Stephen Griesgraber and featured violinists Maxim Moston, Andie Springer and Peter Hess on Bass Clarinet.  The band is a crossover act which mixes classical art music and a mellow electronica which blends together into a nice minimal texture.  In Sunday’s show, all of the tunes played were slow and undulating, usually building up to an understated emotional peak and then concluding similarly to the way the song began.  The songs mostly consisted of Mr. Griesgraber setting an ostinato on his guitar and Mr. Hess laying down a flowing bass line that would counterpoint nicely to the violins on top.  Ms. Springer and Mr. Moston would start by introducing simple melodic fragments and then elongate them as the piece progressed. Sometimes there would be vamps, or time taken for the various instruments in the band to create electronic distortions.

Rarely did any of the of sound textures move beyond the simplicity of these ideas.  This is part of appeal, but sometimes during the “open” bars for the band members to explore the grunge of feedback loops or other effects, the band would loose control of the sound.  I am sure that this was intentional, and it clashed with the vanilla, demure sounds the band was creating at all other times.  In a more contrived setting (like their album) it is far more effective.  Overall the show was enjoyable.  Simple, unagitated music is a nice conclusion to a week of studying all other kinds of classical music.

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