Michael Barenboin and the West Eastern Divan Ensemble: A two-hour
performance that sounds like you’re coming home.
Written by Jackie Dominguez De Paz
quote by Ryunosuke Satoro that says, “Individually, we are one drop. Together,
we are an ocean”. I believe this quote perfectly describes The Western Divan
Ensemble orchestra led by Michael Barenboin. There is no doubt that every
player within the orchestra is unbelievably talented, however when they come together,
it sounds like what I would imagine the gates of heaven opening to sound like.
Illinois Modern Ensemble is a show that I only had little understanding of, and I was trying my best to learn the meaning of it.
The show consisted of 5 parts which featured different style of playing and some local singers. The whole melody of the first part was the frightening to be honest. I don’t know if I am the only peoson who thought in that way, but I really felt uncomfortable sitting there listening them playing music which was so scary.
However, I started to understand a little bit of what the show was about during the second part of the show. The second part was called Philosykos and it tells the story of the war. Basically, the story was about how war is cruel and thousands of corpses lie. So, I thought maybe the show was trying to be scarstic about how war play a role in people’s history.
The rest parts of the show was much the same of the first two parts. The music was frightening and made me feel nervous the whole time. But, this show was another one that I had never seen before, and I highly appreciate this opportunity.
This is what I saw when I entered into the Krannert Center tonight. There were people everywhere. Adults were talking and kids were playing. However, majority of the crowd was in line purchasing tickets and headed straight to their seats. I was surprised to see lots of older people instead of students. I was expecting to see more students due to the event being on campus but I was mistaken once I stepped in to the Center.
When I sat down in the theatre, I was able to see lots of people preparing for the Jupiter String Quartet. The lights went dim and all conversation ceased almost immediately. The audience, including myself, zoned our attention towards the stage. The violinist came out and performed masterpieces. Then dancers entered the stage and danced in an old Tai Chi tradition. It seemed as if they were meditating to the music with every movement. I was most intrigued with how they flowed to the complex melody. If I were the director of tonight’s show, I would’ve joined the performers on stage in the final bow because it was perfect. I would not change anything about the performance. I was amazed with how the event played out.
At the end of the performance, there was a roaring standing ovation which the performers were well deserving of. I was happy to be exposed to such culture and talent. Being a young African American male from the westside of Chicago, you are not presented with these kind of opportunities. I originally thought the performance would be boring and slow, but it was the opposite. I was intrigued at the performers and how they would fall off cadence to add more dramatics to the show and easily come back into syncopation whenever they wanted. I truly enjoyed my first show at the Krannert Center, and I look forward to attending future shows, not only for this class, but for personal pleasure.