Before the End
- Gareth K Vile
- 7 August 2019
Performing grief and filial piety
Before the End has an explicit intention: when Catherine Graindorge's father was dying, he asked her to perform a concert in his memory. Her father, Michel, was a famous Belgian lawyer, engaged in the struggles for equality and ending up in prison himself when one of his clients escaped from the dock.
Graindorge is a violinist and a writer, and she combines music, film, audio of her father and plenty of lo-fi technological trickery to relate Michel's biography. There is a sense of reverence in her memories of her father: both as a person and a lawyer, he is depicted as a man of integrity and compassion. Tracing some of the more unexpected aspects of Michel's life and recounting the controversial public episodes, Graindorge addresses the grief that she can't shake and offers a sketch of a life lived to its full potential.
The contemplative tone, interrupted by the wail of the violin and electronic sounds, doesn't quite capture the passion and energy of the man, but as a personal testament, it is eloquent and moving. However, there is little sense of his character, or deeper moods, and the elegiac atmosphere dominates even the video footage of his political actions.
Summerhall, until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), 1.15pm, £10 (£8).