Red Cello Electrified
South African cellist plugs in
This article is from 2010.
When thinking of solo cello music, something like Bach’s ‘Six Suites For Unaccompanied Cello’ generally springs to mind. Perhaps something more conventional such as this should have been in South African soloist Carol Thorns' thoughts also, as her passionate and highly accomplished playing was let down by her attempts to ‘electrify’ her instrument.
Playing stilted fragments of harmonically motionless melodies over a pre-recorded drum loop, whilst showing New Age-esque visuals in the background, her ‘multimedia performance’ is rather one dimensional. Her work may be unusual in the sense that no other cellist performs in this style, but it is devoid of excitement and innovation. Rather, she gives a superficial performance, with each piece hardly differing from the previous.
Thorns does have talent as an instrumentalist however, producing a rich, sonorous tone on her electric instrument, with nimble fingers and a swooping, bowing movement. She does not do herself justice as a musician here though, and her show would have been far more enjoyable had it been interspersed with more traditional repertoire, to showcase her expertise. As it stood, the overall performance was underwhelming to say the least.
Red Cello Electrified, C Central, 0845 260 1234, until Aug 30 (not 17), 8.30pm, £9.50 (£8.50).