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An evening of Jazz experience, An evening of Possibility

2015/10/1 — 16:31

(攝:蔚藍)

(攝:蔚藍)

【Text:Chan Kit Bing】

Following the lead to get into Visage One, I got into a narrow lane off the stair steps down Hollywood Road.  Before I knew it, I was stepping inside a cosy space with Benky Chan, the “director” of the place, right behind the small bar at the entrance.  Seats of different shapes and sizes were placed casually around the place.  Up a stack of stairs, there was a loft overlooking downstairs.  Small glasses holding lighted candles were offering the light to show people where they can sit, and the floor or the steps of the stairway was apparent choices too.  That was certainly not a typical concert hall, but it was a possible venue.  The evening, as it unfolded, stood up to the possibility. 

People started to buy drinks from Ben.  There was no menu but two broad categories of drinks were offered, namely alcoholic and non-alcoholic; and simply two prices, which had made life a lot easier.  The drink in hand, each prepared by Ben, for the whole evening became the ticket for the performance, a welcoming ticket to his haven.  It was also a part of the experience as both the drink and the music got into the body throughout the evening.  So why take a piece of paper for the entrance to a show?

廣告

Overlooking from the loft, through the three overhanging lamps from the ceiling, four young people were apparently preparing for the performance.  They had given very little notice to the people coming in, but concentrated in adjusting the instruments, the sound system and checking with the notes for the performance.  From where I was at the loft, I could only make out that three young men and a lady would be performing, without seeing their faces.  In fact, I didn’t know who they were.  And how important would that be, to know who was performing? 

Expectation was mounting as time passed before the start of the performance.  There was no idea of what was going to be performed other than a vague sense that jazz was to be expected.  The music started when the four young people returned.  They sat in a semi-circle facing the wall, not the people around.   In this way of seating, the audience becomes spectators coming into the performance, rather than the performers performing for the spectators.  The arrangement is all the more interesting with the paradox of creating distance through playing with the back to the audience, but at the same time removing the distance by the small space around. 

廣告

The intensity and concentration of the way the music was played had apparently mesmerized the audience, from the moment it started.  I saw fingers dancing on the chords of the guitars, I saw the brushes waltzing on the surface of the drum, and I saw the lady immersing into the music from her partners before she flirted with her voice in synchrony.   New experiences were opened up with the improvisations on familiar tunes, and the playing around between the singing and the instrumental performance.    I didn’t have an inkling of the programme of the evening, but when I was in the music, did I need a programme anyway?

I left with my appetite sated, and a wider horizon on performance.  Coming out of Visage One, I noted a stamped envelop with its address written on it stuck on the wall outside.  A fitting signboard and a sound reminder for possibilities.

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