Ashley Bathgate, cello
Eleonore Oppenheim, bass viol
Sunday, September 8th, 2013
I was really thrilled to check out a brilliant pair of post-minimal string music sets from Bang On a Can All-Stars’ Ashley Bathgate and Victoire’s Eleonore Oppenheim at the Lower East Side venue Drom this past Sunday night. The two string soloists are both very talented artists in their field, both as members of their respective ensembles as well as solo artists, not to mention that they are both also founding members of the group Bonjour (also scheduled to appear soon at Drom) with fellow bassist Florent Ghys.
Having a solo set each, Ashley’s set launched with Icelandic composer Daniel Bjarnason’s 3-movement piece Bow To String, with the ambient textures typical of the sound of Bedroom Community combined with the grittiness of Ashley’s downtown influences.
The soundbite-threaded mania of Yoav Shemesh’s “Empty City” was a big jolt, reminiscent of some of the best music of Jacob TV.
Bill Ryan’s “Simple Lines” and Jacob Cooper’s “Arches” both beautifully rounded out Bathgate’s set.
With her own selected stock projection of vintage b&w footage, Eleonore’s set began with my favorite moment of the evening: Ashley joining her onstage for Oppenheim’s own arrangement of Bjork’s “Pleasure Is All Mine”. The two artists’ performance of this work definitely made me want to see this kind of duo on a more regular basis.
Florent Ghys’ “Crocodile” was a delight of stereophonic clanging. Angelica Negron’s “La Isla Magica” and Jenny Olivia Johnson’s “Home” were two more sonic works of new music industrialism.
Both these artists were at their peak on this evening. I definitely love to come to NY to hear these great people, and I was very thrilled to see Eleonore for the first time solo, as I love her work in both Victoire and Bonjour.