Hamilton of Holland
(Maison Symphonique de Montreal. July 3, 2022. Review by Sebastian Scotney)
Hamilton of Holland. phone clasp
This is going to be more than a little embarrassing. And I apologize to the reviewer in the next seat. the brazilian musician Hamilton of Holland has the ability to turn me into a totally in love fan-boy. How am I supposed to breathe normally when I’m trying to inhale each sentence? I’ve heard from Holland do one of his solo bandolim recitals once before. It was at the Great Hall of the Mozarteum in Salzburg in 2016. That night, the public could not believe that the director of the festival, Tina Heine, had managed to let them enter the most glamorous and exclusive 800-seat hall in their city for free, but once who entered, no one left. That night, a full house was still braying for more after more than 100 minutes.
Hamilton from Holland is one of the most gleefully complete musicians I have had the privilege of listening to. He is from the choro tradition, but has transformed it into his own art form.
And last night he did something that I can’t get out of my head: he lowered the tuning of a couple of the ten strings of his bandolim a couple of notches… while maintaining a happy pulse. So I think: Hamilton from Holland has just turned the act of tuning a stringed instrument into music. Why can’t the rest of the human race do that? Because, as Rilke once said, only a God can do that.
De Holanda plays his bandolim with harmonic richness and an unerring sense of rhythm and phrasing. He has a stance that sometimes makes him look like a bad boy rock hero. I wonder why he has been called the “Jimi Hendrix of the bandolim”, it is a comment that I have never fully understood. Yes, he may look and play like rock’s bad boy, but Hendrix’s analogy probably has more to do with hairstyles than music. Better read a more complete description/biography HERE
He addressed the crowd last night in heavily accented but impeccable French. He did something he said he had never done before and sang Rogers and Hart’s “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” in honor of his father’s birthday. This was a half hour warm-up series. I was in ecstasy. But I noticed that the Montreal crowd gave him the standing ovation that he deserved.
Just a nice photo of one of the official festival snappers to capture a bit of the summer atmosphere:
Summer in Montreal. Photo credit Víctor Díaz Lamich/FIJM Like this:
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