We met Elodie Sablier at the Langham Hotel in The Rocks, Sydney a while back, when she was the regular pianist at their bar. She also used to play at the QVB on Thursday evenings during extended shopping hours. And then, she went on to release her first CD, Vertigo, in 2013.
And now, she is just about to release her second album, Silent Bridge, already available on iTunes, and in shops from December 6th.
Elodie plays the piano with the same ease as I cook everyday for my family. Years of classical training and practice as well as her long dabbling into improvisation and jazz give her compositions a strong foundation onto which she builds an often melancholic music, or reinterpret a famous Debussy or Satie piece with finesse and brio, and the occasional humour!
This second album shows a greater maturity, fluidity and assurance as a result of her still recent success with her first album, but also many radio appearances and concerts around the place.
She also ventures into partnering with a Cello player - Kenichi Mizushima - on some tracks as well as trying her hand at singing. When she sings, she reminds me of Brigitte Bardot, although at times it is difficult to understand her lyrics, as the balance of the recording gives precedence to the piano and cello.
I really like the second track on Silent Bridge and also her rendition of a Gnossienne of Satie.
Elodie shows a new "lightness of being" on these compositions which pervades the whole record and makes it a delight to listen from beginning to end. So start saving to buy Silent Bridge CD!
For the geeks reading my blog, you will be interested to know that Elodie plays a Steinway Concert Grand model D built in 1912, belonging to the ABC, our national radio and television network, who also provided the recording venue and gear, under the technical guidance of Mitch Kenny, recording engineer extraordinaire and Kathy Naunton, in charge of the mastering.
WEST SIDE STORY - LEONARD BERNSTEIN - THE 50th ANNIVERSARY
I have to make a confession before we start...I had never seen the movie released in 1961, and I had never seen the musical itself before last night's performance at the Sydney Opera House...
However, I have a great recording on the latest version of the Musical played on Broadway in 2009. and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, the original choreographer of the 1961 movie.
The original movie was filmed in Technicolor on 70mm film and 6 tracks audio Westrex optical technology. The orchestral original score was lost and it had to be recreated by first separating the voices and effects on one side and the music on the other side using French technology from Audionamix. Then using some documents found in various archives and many hours of work and rehearsal to get to the point where any orchestra could play it with the help on some other electronic wizardry to synchronise their performance with the action on the screen which is mostly behind them. Well, let me tell you, the SSO is not ANY orchestra! They are a wonderful crew who did get a standing ovation at the end of almost three hours of playing this complex piece of music. There was only a 20 minutes interval!
This is probably one of the top live musical experiences of my life, up there with Carmina Burana in the same venue about ten years ago, Nigel Kennedy, Anne Sophie Mutter more recently, Rod Stewart in Versailles in 1983, Eurythmics in Paris in 1989 and Sydney in 1999. Not a small feast!
About the film itself, I can say that I was very impressed by the dancers and the choreography, as most american productions are near perfect in their timing and the fluidity of the movements.
The best example could well be the Blu-Ray recording of the last and unfinished Michael Jackson's production, "This is it", that I have watched at least a dozen times and still get the same pleasure and excitement listening and watching it each time. I think it will be the same if this performance were to be recorded. I will still buy the 50th anniversary Blu-Ray and report!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.