Review of Bielefeld concert

Elis & Catherine

Hello everybody!

We received a beautiful concert review in the German newspaper “Neue Westfälische” about our concert in Bielefeld. We did our best in translating it to English ;) Huge thanks to Ralf Bittner for the nice article!

Here’s the original:

And our translation:

This is how the sun tastes
Brazilian atmosphere: The duo Elis & Catherine brings South American ease with guitar and cello in the biergarten of the Neue Schmiede

Softly and warmly the tones of the cello float across the balmy summer evening. Catherine Bent paints the strings with her bow, carrying her instrument gently in her arms. Then Elis Roseira’s guitar arrives, with clarity and ease. “Mãos abertas“ (Open Hands) is the name of the wonderful Bossa nova with which the duo opens their concert in the garden of the Neue Schmiede.

The show had been billed as a “concert in the bar“; however, because of the weather, it was moved outside. A good decision, because the duo “Elis & Catherine” attracted so many listeners that additional chairs and benches had to be hastily located. What the spectators experienced during the following two hours was a musical journey of two virtuoso instrumentalists, passing through the rhythms and styles of Brazilian music.

Their program includes pieces of great Brazilian composers like Antônio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento, Ernesto Nazareth and Chico Buarque, and the duo’s own compositions. The big picture is enriched with folk music from the Americas, African rhythms and European dances. Not only are different influences combined in the music; also the musicians live on both sides of the Atlantic. Bent comes from London and lives in the USA; Roseira comes from Germany and lives in Munich, but is often in Boston and Rio de Janeiro. 2015 saw the release of their first CD “Um Gosto de Sol” from which the show takes its name. Bent has just released her new CD in conjunction with other Brazilian musicians: “Ideal”, an album of original compositions paying tribute to varied Brazilian musical styles.

The opening Bossa nova comes from the CD “Ideal” and despite all its delicacy is so strong that the audience is transported in a dream from Bielefeld to Rio. Bent’s bowed and plucked cello paints with deep and pulsating liveliness. Not merely a priming coat, it alternately grooves and sings empathetically.

Roseira’s finely accented guitar fits naturally in the rather unusual combination of cello and guitar. The guitarist also takes on the vocals as a third instrument, at times condensing the essence of the songs, commenting, or providing counterpoint. The songs treat of big feelings or declarations of love. Fun is the essence of “Tico Tico”, a song about a small bird who tries over and over again to nibble from a cake. The quick “Brejeiro” becomes a living musical struggle between European erudite style and Brazilian popular play. And quite programmatic is the piece with the unusual title “Som do Seilerei“ (Sound of the Ropery).

Like different strands of a rope, different musical traditions gather here—as much reggae as march music—with some frustration in the efforts to join it all in a harmonious whole. The duo manages this very well throughout, as indicated by the applause at the end.”