OWEN PALLETT: IN THE GROOVE AT VABA LAVA

25. April 2015
Pilarica Martin

The Canadian musician Owen Pallett brought some dark and independent rock to the Jazzkaar Festival the day before of it’ final concerts. The labyrinthine violin and piano looped in the hall, filling it with his astonishing slayers and voice.

At first, it’s important to highlight briefly that Pallett has more than one string to his fiddle. He has many talents within music composition, such as the latest one – the shared Oscar nomination with Arcade Fire’s William Butler for writing the score for Her. He has composed the music for the game Traffic Department 2192, two operas and four albums, with a lot of collaborations in between. The last release was in 2014 – In Conflict, also performed here in Tallinn. “In Conflict is a pop treasure that’s also a stirring, personal work of art” said the Rolling Stones Magazine.

During the concert, he acted as a solo multi instrumentalist with the violin, piano and voice. He played the violin into a loop pedal in order to do multi-phonic looping which is recorded through his violin signal and sent to amplifiers across the stage. His warm and exquisite voice matched with his compelling and accurate skill on the instruments.

After warming up alone, Matt Smith on the bass, and Rob Gordon on the drums, turned up on the stage to accompany his music in a perfect synchrony. Their melodies were turning fairer and darker, in a game of lightning sounds throughout the gig.

Pallett created a relaxed atmosphere the minute he got on stage. Perhaps it was to do with his looks (socks, old pants and a glass of wine) as well as his calm attitude which did not disturbed him to be spontaneous.  He asked what song the audience wanted him to play as the last one of the concert. Some requests came up, and it was Independence is no solution. Even when the fire alarm went off at the beginning of this last tune, he just stopped to ask what was that and then kept playing with that sound in the background for a while.

His natural character, his dazzling chords and the stunning performance of the whole band, made Estonians to jump, dance, shout and stamp. It was an enjoyable Friday night!

OWEN PALLETT
April 24th at Vaba Lava
Owen Pallett – violin, keyboard, vocal
Matt Smith – bass
Rob Gordon – drums