King and Gripper unite!

Sean Car

The combination of hypnotic lights and abstract visuals with prodigious and scintillating classical sounds provided an unlikely yet mesmerising combination at the Melbourne Recital Centre last month.

American guitarist Kaki King and South African guitarist Derek Gripper featured in an exclusive double-bill performance in Southbank on August 13, which left the audience lost for words throughout the evening.

There can be no doubt about it – this wasn’t your average Monday night! Renowned for her incredibly immersive and entrancing solo shows, Kaki King warmed up the crowd with a performance that was simply captivating.

Not only does she bring her guitar to life through playing a diverse range of unique soundscapes, the guitar itself complements the music by producing its own visuals that range from real visions to psychedelic patterns.

This experience is reflected and reinforced by an enormous projection in the background, providing the audience with no means of escape from what was truly a wondrous journey into one’s own senses.

Very different yet just as brilliant, virtuosic classical guitarist Derek Gripper ended the evening in a more relaxed tone that was far more synonymous to what one would expect for a Monday night.

While there were no visual aids, Gripper’s incredible talent provided a spellbinding finale. His skill was only further illustrated by his ability to casually converse with the audience about the music he was playing while his fingers travelled at lightning speed up and down the fretboard.

From his unique ability to interpret complex compositions played with the Kora – a 21-stringed traditional West African lute – to his renditions of Mozart and African folk, Gripper is a true musical talent; a master of his craft whose passion resonates with his audience.

Melbournerecital.com.au

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