Music Friends

Night People: Devin Sarno

Nocturne #1 (Devin), the piece that kicks off my ‘Night People’ project, pays tribute to Devin Sarno, an experimental electric bassist from Los Angeles.

Devin’s musical experience usually starts off very quietly before building into a crescendo of multi-layered, often feedback-driven music characterized by unknowable overtones and harmonics. It might be meditative. It might be inscrutable. It might be terrifying. One never knows in advance!


Soundtrack: Chico Hamilton Quintet / Repulsion 

As the opening credits roll, a woman’s eye fills the screen. A stark tympani begins to pound away aimlessly accompanied by a vague distant electric drone. As the camera slowly zooms out the percussion gives way to a melody played on solo flute. The mood is hard to nail down – is it… reflective? Plaintive? Resigned? Just depressing? 

So begins Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, starring Catherine Deneuve with music rendered by Chico Hamilton Quintet.


Opera: Thomas Adés / The Exterminating Angel

After becoming fed up with scrounging around YouTube looking for modern operas, I finally bit the bullet and subscribed to The Metropolitan Opera’s TV app. Now I have lots of crazy excruciating performances to thrill to and pen saucy observations about. And the first on my list is one that I’ve been wanting to see for some time now, as it’s atop the lists of many critics’ “greatest 21st century operas” lists: Thomas Adés’ The Exterminating Angel.