A high class performance from Dufallo

The different ends of HIFA's cultural spectrum were pulled sharply into focus on Friday. The festival is a celebration of the profound synthesis of mind, body and soul that springs from artistic expression. It is also, apparently, a massive party.

Cornelius Dufallo plays the violin in Dream Streets and Labyrinths.
Cornelius Dufallo plays the violin in Dream Streets and Labyrinths.

This became very clear through the comparison of two of Friday's performances – Cornelius Dufallo's 'Dream Streets & Labyrinth' on the Global Stage, and Tumi and The Volume's foot-stomping gig on the Main Stage.

Dufallo's avante garde performance interweaved audio and visual elements to construct a sharply evocative soundscape amid a dream-like narrative, calling to mind Paul Auster’s City of Glass as the artist stood alone on stage with a violin, a microphone and a laptop, backed by Carmen Kordas’s visuals.

His performance was haunting but also deeply personal, drawing upon his experiences living in New York and from his own life in compositions such as 'Cosmic Clouds' and 'Waiting For You'.

Inspiration for the former arrived while gazing at the stars on a camping trip in the mountains of Colorado, the result being an ethereal one-minute burst, while the latter sprang from the experience of waiting for his daughter to be born. The end of each piece was greeted with polite applause.

Tumi and The Volume’s jazz/rock/hip-hop hybrid drew a raucous evening crowd, the band members poking fun at the stiffs in the VIP box between bouts of energetic, groove-laden beatmaking. Joined on stage by South Africa-based emcee Zubz, they gave a beer-soaked crowd exactly what they wanted, and if they were any more laid back, they'd have fallen over.

The point, of course, is to enjoy all that the festival has to offer for what it is. HIFA would be no fun without acts like Tumi and The Volume, but it would lack depth and substance if it neglected the more intellectual forms of expression.

Disappointingly, some of the artists – easily identifiable by their red wristbands – who entered Dufallo’s performance (for free), walked out in the short interlude between pieces. They may well have been heading for Tumi’s gig, which started shortly after Dufallo’s performance ended. The weekend has arrived, and so has the party.

Post published in: Arts
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