A small crowd of music lovers were lucky enough to be immersed in a passionate performance from Adam Simmons and Alessandra Garosi on Wednesday night at the Lost Ones Gallery and Basement Bar.
Garosi (piano) and Simmons (saxophone, bass clarinet and shakuhachi) invited the audience to share an intimate musical conversation, alternatively poignant and quiet, aggressive and loud, all the while exploring the depths of their instruments and pushing the boundaries of sound. Simmons masterfully employed circular breathing techniques to create deep resonating undertones, while Garosi shifted through harmonic and rhythmic ideas to create climactic walls of sound.
It was an extraordinary performance of virtuosity and interplay between these world class musicians in Ballarat. Garosi and Simmons were as one, finely attuned to the nuances in dynamics, rhythmic punctuations, and an interaction of timbres.
The most compelling pieces were their interpretations of the signs of the Zodiac, ending with a watery Cancer, caught evocatively on the piano and underscored by the 'bubbling' wet sounds of the bass clarinet.
While the pieces were relatively short and refreshingly varied, there was no rest for the audience. Garosi and Simmons knew exactly where they were headed before each piece, demonstrating an intense rehearsal process. It was clear each enjoyed the other, and were supremely confident in the other's ability to co-create a platform for a cohesive performance.
This unshakeable duo gave us a lesson in how musicians can support, communicate and respect each other's musical expression.
This is music from a genre that almost defies a title. But definitions aside, it is the impact on the audience which speaks loudest about the calibre of the music.
Ballarat should be proud to host such world class innovation.