For Your Ears: Dal Niente Do Chinary Ung
Today at 3pm, Ensemble Dal Niente present an afternoon of chamber music by Cambodian-American composer Chinary Ung. The concert will take place at High Concept Laboratories which has proved to be an incredibly intimate chamber setting for the ensemble in the past; I saw Dal Niente perform Sciarrino’s Esplorazione del bianco II there in June. We huddled around the four musicians in a large semicircle as they performed the most microscopic of gestures for our squinting ears.
The guitarist, for instance, furtively climbed the bridge of his instrument while hand-picking the muted strings in a slow but methodical manner; it was like hearing chills work their way up a spine. And it felt like that too; my friend told me he was on the edge of his seat for the entire performance. This sort of quiet tension was nearly absent when earlier in the month I saw them perform the same piece in a much larger venue. For chamber music this small in size, you just can’t beat a salon setting.