Thursday, November 20, 2014

Golden emanations from ginormous gongs at Calanthean Canyon; Tatsuya Nakatani and Royal Percussion Society of Shreveport

Lane Bayliss strained to produce a pure if enormous note by bowing the edge of a giant bronze gong on Thurs night. A circle of gleaming suspended gongs and players surrounded percussion master Tatsuya Nakatani, the guest artist. Adam Davis bowed a gong, as did Jesse Gabriel, AJ Haynes, Zach Friday and Tom Fasho. On a catwalk atop the site was a gong being played by Pete Fetterman.

With slashing signals from his hands and arms, Nakatani conducted the performance while drumming.

The night air was damp in Calanthean Canyon on ancient Texas Ave under the shadow of the historic Calanthean Temple. Yet quiet, worshipful watchers filled the many nooks on the site. Lighted to maximize drama, the site was also rife with stealthy photographers.

The droning and blooming bronze discs gave forth a train-like sound akin to a roomful of singing bowls.

The New Orleans Airlift team of Delaney Martin and Taylor Lee Shepherd, original architects of the musical houses at Calanthean Canyon, produced the event. It was underwritten by Pam Atchison and Shreveport Regional Arts Council.

The Nakantani and friends performance was one of pure sonic artistic ambition.

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