Sometimes the utmost remarkable concerts are ones that you know nothing about. Perhaps you’ve never listened to the artist or you haven’t even heard any of the songs that you about to hear for the first time. About a month ago I experienced that wonderful, goose-bump triggering feeling at ‘Hang with QYO’ at the Queensland Music Festival at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
‘Hang with QYO’ featured the Queensland Youth Orchestra and Katie Noonan. However, the most captivating of them all was guest soloist Manu Delago. For me, the mystery of this concert was more than not knowing the artist, I didn’t even know the instrument that would be played.
Sitting in the QPAC Concert Hall I expected was the usual orchestra or violin quartet to start playing me lullabies, however midway through the show Manu Delago walked onto centre stage carrying three metal, deformed, spherical objects.
I soon found out that the unexpected instrument that Delago played was called the Hang and it was probably the most peculiar but enthralling instruments that I have ever heard. The Swiss drum, or as Delago refers to it ‘the sound sculpture’, is played with primarily hands and the sound that came from the Hang was something unexplainable beautiful.
His piece Concertino Grosso, which featured The Alumni Chamber Orchestra was a song with yet more unexpected elements other than the Hang. The Hang paired with the sting orchestra was mesmerising enough nevertheless, Delago’s dynamic use of his surrounding environment made the performance even more immersing.
The piece involved loud dropping of pencils and violent flicking through sheet music, all making the piece more astonishing to not only hear but the watch. Now with the incorporation of other lively elements, each note meant more and every sound added to the music.
Delago’s entire performance invited the audience to drown in the sound of the orchestra and most importantly the Hang. The intimacy yet vibrancy of the Hang gave me a feeling that I can never forget and a stronger appreciation for spontaneous events that lead to the most unexpected, extraordinary memories.