Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Bruce Mathiske's concert in Mittagong

Tonight I went with John Hughes to a "Sizzling Strings" concert in Mittagong by Bruce Mathiske, and friends Greg Young (GY), and Nick Rheinberger. What an eye-opener, or should that be "Ear-Opener"?

Photo by Richard Bartlett,
courtesy of Bruce Mathiske Music website.

As regular readers know I am no music critic, but I was stunned by the virtuosity of Bruce (in particular) and also the other two musicians with him. Bruce literally seemed to be able to coax enough music for three instruments from his single, beautifully-tuned steel string guitar. And I am not talking about his sampling box, where he can lay down 5 brief "samples", and then "jam with himself". That is pretty amazing, but of course, some of the credit is due to the technology. But, I hasten to add, not all of it. He is still playing "live", and how he manages to "read" these complex musical rhythms and beats and melodies simultaneously is totally mystifying to the likes of me. A brief biography of Bruce may be found here.

Greg Young is a self-styled "Ukulele Dynamo", and clearly has worked for some time with Bruce Mathiske. Greg comes from Stawell in western Victoria.

Nick Rheinberger, playing at a CTC Music Night last year.

Nick Rheinberger is familiar to regular readers, through his appearances at Music Nights at the CTC, and also as the ABC Illawarra Morning Show presenter. Nick played his beloved "Charango", as well as a Dobro resonating guitar, which he played as a "slide guitar", and a tiny little Ukulele with which he concluded the concert playing his ironic number where he bemoans the problems of "playing the Blues on a lousy little Taiwanese $29.95 Ukulele".

I can say that as a member of a fairly full house, complete with a number of other Robertson residents, I thoroughly enjoyed the performances. Great music, and an enjoyable night out.

Good to see Robertson people prepared to travel 50 Kms each way to support live music.

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