Baraná meets Boi Akih

by stevenkamperman on 19/03/2012

We decided to change Baraná’s new years concerts at the Muziekhuis Utrecht into a spring concert tradition. It felt nice to celebrate the rising temperatures and the emerging life by inviting new guests. Unfortunately, one of the sound engineers took this concept of celebrating a new start a bit too literally: he pushed the wrong button, and instead of saving, he demolished all the EQ-settings just before the concert, so that we could start all over again… It affected the mood of the sound crew for a moment, but luckily it didn’t spoil the party.

This year, we had decided to invite Moluccan vocalist Monica Akihary and Dutch guitarist Niels Brouwer, who together form the band Boi Akih. Monica pointed out during the afternoon that the she had wondered why no one had come up with that idea earlier. She was right: the combination of Baraná and Boi Akih sounded quite natural, both in their Boi Akih repertoire as in our Baraná pieces.

Monica has a stunning voice with the range from an alto to a soprano, and she has an uncanny ability to blend it with about anything. Add great energy and huge amounts of charm, and you see the picture. Niels is a great guitar player and composer, playing with great intelligence and enthusiasm. No wonder they have had succes everywhere. Everybody in the audience agreed that we definitely should work together.

Just before our concert, I did a children’s workshop. I had composed a piece, especially for the occasion, about two monkeys walking in the jungle, seeing all kinds of different animals, and miming the sounds together. The line of animals gets longer and longer, great fun. As you can see on the pictures, my son felt quite comfortable on stage afterwards…

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