Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Groove Sessions. Dunstan Playhouse. 17 Jun 2017
A cappella groups are presented with the unique challenge of harnessing the power of voice, singing alone in harmony, without the support of instrumentation. There are many groups who achieve this, but The Idea of North is somewhat different in two significant respects. Firstly, a degree of serious, studied musicianship in their work surpassing other groups of repute. Secondly, a capacity to let humour play a role in their vocalised instrumentation; letting the artistry lead any comic novelty factor.
Bringing Japan’s Kaichiro Kitamura, greatly admired by the company, on as guest artist allowed The Idea of North to give full expression to both musicianship and technical artistry in pursuit of an emotionally driven narrative, discovering new levels of textural shade and depth in every single song.
This unity is made superbly clear as Kitamura takes the stage solo, fully demonstrating the sublime, profound complexity of his craft. Kitamura does not merely imitate the sound of a musical instrument. He expresses complex tonality as well. His slice of life in Japan begins with a bus in transit to an airport and a plane taking off, offering a three dimensional and emotive sensibility not encountered in performance before.
Add this approach to song, and you have something a little more significant than just being pitch-perfect. You hear four voices assuredly offering up groove with beautiful strains of jazz, dashes of funk and medleys of bygone eras.
More extraordinarily, is this group’s creation of, at times, lingering dualities of tone in between harmonic structures defying belief because you just know those notes, that expression, is beyond the expected.
Reaching warm and deeply into your ears and your contemplative heart.
When: 17 Jun
Where: Dunstan Playhouse