Friday, February 27, 2009
Lost in amplification
We went to hear the Spanish flamenco jazz guitarist Eduardo Niebla last night at the Norwich Arts Centre. This intimate venue is a deconsecrated church that holds an audience of 180 and requires the subtlest of any sound reinforcement, if any. British based Niebla brought a trio in which his own acoustic guitar was backed by a second acoustic guitar and a tabla. That is about all I can tell you about the performance. Other than that Niebla and his two sidemen were heavily amplified (with reverb) through four small PA speakers that were probably brought from Tandy many years ago. The result was the kind of over-loud, compressed, clipped, nasal, sub-hifi sound that we used to listen to in our college rooms in the 1960s while drinking cheap Algerian red wine. We fled at the end of the first half, and listened to Ralph Towner on an ECM CD in the car on the way home to remind ourselves what an acoustic guitar really sounds like.
Oh dear, is amplification the next big thing for classical music?
We bought our £12 tickets from the Norwich Arts Centre box office. Report errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk