Patti Smith & Soundwalk Collective (9/10)
Start 20:05 / End 21:25
They walked on stage, all dressed in black, Patti Smith escorted to the microphone by a tall man.
There was clapping and whooping and whistling and i screamed “Patti” at the top of my lungs while throwing my hands in the air.
I was very much looking forward to this concert. I wanted to see her, see how I would feel this time as opposed to the first time, when I her at Madison Square Garden, opening for U2, being booed at for criticizing the war in Afghanistan.
I am sorry to say that I was blinded by the legend that is Patti Smith.
Because this was a collaboration, not a Patti Smith concert: a collaboration between the Soundwalk Collective (Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli and Kamran Sadeghi) Patti Smith’s daughter, Jesse Paris Smith, the last poems of the icon Nico, which Patti Smith read, and video artist Tina Frank.
Various live recordings of the forest, the beach, birds, laughing and talking, the harmonium and electronic sounds, an array of singing bowls (or rather a variation of singing bowls: white, matte and toned blue as if they stood in twilight),images varying from the abstract to the figurative and Patti Smith’s renditions of the last Nico poems all added to the experience.
I saw some people close their eyes, immerse themselves in the occurrence.
I tried to do the same but it was hard to take my gaze from Patti Smith.
Or the others for that matter.
Highly focused and concentrated, they made no movement that wasn’t necessary.
And except for one moment, when Patti Smith turned her face to the direction I happened to be sitting and smiled briefly, there was no direct facial or bodily communication with the audience.
Their facial expressions were serious but never distance or cold – even when the rogue mobile phone started ringing twenty minutes in.
The concert finished after an hour and twenty minutes. The audience applauded and stood.
They came out for another bow but there was no encore. That was fine by me; I was emotionally spent.
Excerpts from Nico’s last poems, in the order they were rendered:
•”my heart’s empty…empty empty heart…but the songs i sing are filled.”
•”a given voice, a given choice, everything you need is mine.”
•”on a dusty road, mastering adventure, the intentions of my attitude, fearfully endangered”
my only child…”
and my eyes are still asleep…”
when we meet in heaven…”
like a finger in the night…”
all the way to the desert shore…”