For an hour and a half last Saturday evening (8th July) the K’antu Ensemble took their Bratton Clovelly audience on a magical journey into a world of Renaissance tones, rhythms and harmonies. And they loved it.
It isn’t just the ensemble’s considerable skill as specialist musicians, their versatility or inventive arrangements that makes them so special, although this is of course a large part of the delight: it’s the feeling of becoming a privileged initiate into the exciting creative process itself; of not just listening to the music but of being inside it. This is largely due to the leader and musical arranger, Ruth Hopkins, who invites the audience to come close, to experience, to imagine. The skilful blending of instruments and voices, the subtle changes of rhythms and moods then come to you as glorious evocations of lives and places that jump out of the past and chime effortlessly with the here and now.
The music is joyful, it’s earthy, sometimes wonderfully moody and the exuberance of the musicians is infectious. It might be a cliche to say that music is uplifting, but there was certainly a notable lifting of spirits amongst the delighted audience in Bratton Clovelly last Saturday.
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