New music, soprano and percussion seem made to go together, and the Resound Duo of Jennifer and Tyson Voigt certainly didn’t disappoint. Then again, they are married!

The relatively short program featured two duos: selections from Alan Smith’s Songs of Wandering and Matthew Shaver’s Songs of Liberation, as well as a performance of the Berio Sequenza III (soprano) and Le Corps a Corps (percussion) by Georges Aperghis. It was a stunning selection, opened with Jennifer Voigt’s captivating rendition of the Sequenza. Bubbling and murmuring, Jennifer’s mark was made by her expressive eyes and thorough commitment to the musical line.

Le Corps a Corps, placed third on the program, was at once intriguing and utterly captivating. The piece calls for a combination of zarb (a small hand-held African drum) and voice to produce highly syntactical percussive lines that finally break into speech (in French) at the work’s climax. As with both the duo works, it was performed from memory, and Tyson Voigt’s engagement with the music and his audience was absolute.

The wonderful thing about this duo was their sense of dramatic persona. Complete musical understanding as much as their performance from memory let nothing get in the way of their communication of ideas to the audience. Both the Smith and the Shaver were executed with complete focus and admirable musical intent. Without the constraints of a score, Jennifer was free to walk around the stage, using this to great dramatic advantage in the narrative arc of Songs of Liberation in particular. Thought the concert was long enough to showcase the duo’s diverse colour palette and incredible energy, I could easily have listened to more!

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