TRINITY LABAN PERCUSSION QUARTET at St Alfege’s
What do a telly, a tea service, a broken umbrella and a copy of the Financial Times have in common? They were all used as musical instruments by Trinity Laban percussionists Connor Chambers, Tom Plumridge, Rory Clarke and Dom Daggett in a free lunchtime recital at St Alfege’s. Living Room Music, by the avantgarde maestro John Cage, also featured a wooden table with tubular steel legs which the quartet played with plastic ballpoint pens. They even added their own comic touches – including a bit of Football’s Coming Home – by setting the piece in a students’ flat-share. Two works by minimalist pioneer Steve Reich bookended the second half of the programme. Music For Pieces Of Wood was 10 minutes of hypnotic repeating rhythms played on tuned blocks and claves whilst Mallet Quartet combined the metallic chimes of vibraphones with the woody warmth of marimbas. In between, we were treated to a magnificent solo performance by Chambers of Cold Pressed, a thunderously pulsating work by Dave Hollinden. The quartet, directed by Mick Doran, finished with the Velocipede Galop, a 1930s bit of whimsy featuring xylophones and car-horns. This recital had everything – virtuosity, fascinating if challenging music, just the right amount of theatre. And an awful lot of fun.