At Music Academy of the West, Fri., Oct. 20.
Despite what music director Adrian Spence called a “gentle program,” Camerata Pacifica’s October 20 concert at Music Academy of the West’s Hahn Hall exhibited the programmatic lineaments that make its performances so identifiable, albeit with less aggressive selections. Beginning with Carl Vine’s stringent “Inner World” for solo cello, Ani Aznavoorian demonstrated her undeniable talents; however, the audience was somewhat distracted by a video of a bow against cello strings projected behind her. Next was William Kraft’s “In the Morning of the Winter Sea” for cello and percussion, introducing to the program percussionist Svet Stoyanov, who, with Aznavoorian, showcased unconventional musical techniques, such as hitting string instruments in a vaguely percussive way and muting strings to achieve an agitated screech, which wavered on the line between pushing musical boundaries and creating noise for the sake of music itself.
The high point of the program was John Cage’s “In a Landscape,” in which Stoyanov graced the audience with a contemplative, stylish presentation of the emotional range solo percussion can achieve. While Camerata Pacifica’s programs frequently incorporate unorthodox pieces, it does a successful job at exposing the community to new music and gifted artists.