The Singh Quartet performed a mixed bag of works in the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow on Wednesday evening, as part of Plug 2019. Beginning the evening with pieces written by both Rufus Isabel Elliot and Faidon Nalbantis before reminding us what they were really there for, which was Written in Fire, a piece that Rakhi Singh and Tri-Angle Records’ Vessel (AKA Seb Gainsborough) had worked collaboratively to compose.
Starting the evening with Pass and Evagelia, two works written by other composers, there was a disjointed feel to the vibe overall, with two rather less stimulating works, and despite the temptation to leave early, I stuck around after the interval to witness what we were all really there for, which was the works that the Singh Quartet themselves had been working on. Not being disparaging to the other composers, but for me there works did not appear so rich and textural. There was a lack of stimulating visual, but perhaps the music would make up for that if it was a little more pronounced. Sadly, I was not inspired or galvanised by their pieces.
However, after the interval our senses were awoken yet again by the Written in Fire piece, more affecting and rich in it’s composition. Even just the simple backdrop gave you something to attach your eyes to as you inhaled the sounds of the violins, viola and cello. A strong piece that took it’s audience on a journey there was much to commend with Written in Fire, and the performances were unwavering.
And last but not least was there performance with Vessel, producer and DJ, who had collaborated with Rakhi Singh on the piece, offering both of their unique and vast musical backgrounds to the works. Intended for string and electronics, as was performed, it was a response to Czech composer Leos Janacek’s Intimate Letters, their second sting quartet. Impassioned, emotive and beautifully composed we were taken on a rich musical path through the strings and synths, arriving at a more satisfied state. Had the evening consisted of this work alone, it would’ve made a less arduous task to sit in the theatre of the Conservatoire.
However, a varied evening of string and electronics, I am sure there was much to please many in the audience.