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  • Miles Hedley


There have already been so many great online performances by artists to offer rays of hope amid the gloom of Covid 19 and the latest example, by composer/percussionist Manu Delago and his violinist wife Claudia, is as fabulous as any of them.

The couple play four wildly contrasting pieces in a recital streamed live on Facebook from theIr lockdown living room.

Manu, a Trinity Laban alumnus and Grammy nominee, uses a set of tuned steel drums called AsaChans which miraculously seem to combine a range of sounds from tabla drums to a baroque harpsichord, the latter being given a dazzling outing in the couple’s opener, a gorgeous rendition of a Bach minuet.

Bach is home territory for Claudia, a baroque specialist and a member of the Orchestra of Age and Enlightenment, but she proves her own extraordinary range with a version of the Britney Spears’ hit Toxic which really swung.

In another fascinating contrast, the third piece is a heartbreakingly lovely elegy that Manu wrote for his grandmother’s funeral.

And the couple, performing in public as a duet for the first time ever, round off their recital with Secret Heart from sitar superstar Anoushka Shankar’s album Land Of Gold which Manu composed and produced.

The result is 20 of the most beautiful minutes any music-lover could possibly wish for. Let’s hope this world premiere is only the start of their artistic collaboration.

The recital was streamed live on both Manu’s Facebook page and Trinity Laban’s and is part of the conservatoire’s #SelfIsolationCreation campaign to keep the arts and artists healthy during the coronavirus crisis. You can see still see the concert at

And for more on TL’s campaign, check out our preview at

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