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KUNIKO - kuniko plays reich live at Cheltenham - The Arts Desk

10 July 2011
The Arts Desk
David Nice

Sunday afternoon was a palate-cleansing Steve Reichfest. Bowen had jumped with three weeks' notice at the chance to slip in a clutch of UK premieres from the phenomenal Kuniko Kato at the Parabola Arts Centre, centred around her composer-approved arrangements of Reich's Electric Counterpoint - steel pans leading the way - Six Marimbas Counterpoint, a duet with Kuniko's pre-recorded self through superlatively good speakers, and Vermont Counterpoint, in which she leapt stylishly between vibraphone and glockenspiel (her recording, which this performance instantly sold to me, is pictured below). I liked the subtle ripple of Kuniko's own sea picture which launches her own marimba Suite, and the self-styled "aleatoric soul music" of Hywel Davies's hauntingly near-inaudible Purl Ground.

Kuniko is the total artist, no question: her attention to lighting, sound, dancing communication with the audience and questing programme notes reveals a perfectionist. I can't wait to hear her again.

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