Avant-garde duo Kamama to perform at Robinwood Concert HouseWritten by Betsy Woodruff | | email@example.com
On July 17, a private home in the Old West End will become the venue for the only Ohio performance of Kamama, an avant-garde duo.
The band is fronted by Audrey Chen, a classically trained cellist and vocalist who performs improvisational music around the world using extended technique in vocals and cello. Luca Marini, from New York City, plays drums.
Gabriel Beam, of Allied Record Exchange on Reynolds Road, owns the home where the concert will take place.
He said Chen uses her voice to make sounds instead of lyrics; she treats her voice like another instrument instead of like vocals. He said many of the sounds she creates are very dark, and sometimes like a synthesizer’s.
“It’s always crackling, and lots of howling and percussive sounds,” Beam said.
He said the sounds she creates are often painful, staticky or visceral; she makes the sounds the cello cannot make.
Chen said she seeks a personal form of expression through music.
“It’s more about honesty,” she said. “You’re connected to the rest of the world, but how can you do that, how can you manage that in a distinctive way, not to be distinctive, but just because you are distinctive as a person?”
Chen said playing with Marini adds a different dynamic than her solo work produces.
“A duo is a bit like having two solos and finding a meeting point,” she said. “It’s a confrontation of wills.”
Marini has a strong jazz and rock background and has played in noise bands.
Beam said Chen’s vocals are sometimes reminiscent of Yoko Ono’s.
Chen uses a homemade synthesizer to add another layer of sound to her performances.
“It’s more about the passion that’s being displayed,” Beam said. “And not to shortchange any of the meaning behind it, but the meaning is there for perhaps her.”
He said the meaning of her music is open for interpretation.
Chen has played on more than 30 albums and has a large fan base in Europe.
Kamama will perform at the Robinwood Concert House, located at 2564 Robinwood Ave. in the Old West End, on July 17 at 9 p.m. Bob Drake will open the show. Beam suggests attendees bring $5 to donate to the musicians. The show is open to the public and no ticket reservations are required. The group will only perform a few shows in the Midwest before leaving for a series of performances in Europe in September.