We have been so impressed by HarpFest 2012’s Singaporean home team. The festival has also featured events by some of our favourite guest artists from abroad, including a closing concert that was also Cristina Braga and Ricardo Medeiros’s debut in Asia.
Cristina Braga and Ricardo Medeiros
HarpFest participants had the chance to work with Cristina and Ricardo a day before their concert, with two workshops on Latin American, more specifically, Brazilian improvisation. We were introduced to some of the most important Brazilian rhythms, and very quickly groups of harpists were playing them together, taking it in turns to improvise individually along with them. It was impressive how quickly the sometimes very young harpists got the idea, and to have Ricardo there pinning the ensemble together on the bass also really helped us to experience the music.
Rhythm is one of the most important things in music. You can play a lot of wrong notes but if you’re rhythmic, your audience can still enjoy your music. If you play all the right notes but with no discernable pulse, it’s very difficult for the listener to enjoy it. Cristina and Ricardo highlighted this point by having everyone leave the hall and dance the rhythms in a snaking procession through the theatre foyer – a brilliant idea!