By Meera Santhanam
Last Friday, Amadinda, an innovative Hungarian percussion group, and Eighth Blackbird, a Chicago-based four-time Grammy-winning ensemble joined at the Logan Center in the third concert of UChicago Presents’ György Ligeti Series, honoring the life and legacy of the contemporary classical Hungarian-Austrian composer.
The concert opened with Amadinda’s beautiful rendition of “The Dream of the Manichaean,” composed by the Aurél Holló. The four percussionists instantly lit up the stage with their use of marimba; the music had an impressively upbeat, loose, almost tropical quality to it. The song was also musically resourceful; the musicians left not an inch of the marimba mallet (nor any of their other instruments, for that matter) untouched. The drummers transformed the head, base, and body of the mallet each into drum sticks in their own right.