Art and design






Life and style








US news

World news

Hiromi and Edmar Castañeda: Live in Montreal review – impish pianist and harp player bring the noise

Dramatic and swinging … Hiromi and Edmar Castañeda.
Dramatic and swinging … Hiromi and Edmar Castañeda.

A clip of the pianist Hiromi performing a solo version of Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm at this year’s Proms recently went viral and showcased an impish talent: a miniature Japanese hybrid of Oscar Peterson and Franz Liszt who can race through grand chromatic flourishes, negotiate dainty modal solos and swing like the clappers – usually all at once. This live album pairs her with Colombian harp player Edmar Castañeda, who spends the session pretending he’s not actually playing the harp. For Jaco sees him apeing Jaco Pastorius; a dramatic take on Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango has him imitating a wheezing bandoneon; on an enjoyably daft version of the Cantina Band theme from Star Wars, he starts like a ragtime guitarist and ends like a kora player. Hiromi is utterly compelling when it comes to showboating extroversion but the centrepiece of this set – a four-part suite called The Elements – suggests that she has little to say as a composer.

This article titled "Hiromi and Edmar Castañeda: Live in Montreal review – impish pianist and harp player bring the noise" was written by John Lewis, for The Guardian on Thursday 12 October 2017 05.00pm


Randy Newman: ‘I've written a song about Trump and Ivanka – but it needs a little work’

The prospect of lunch with Randy Newman straddles the line between exciting and scary. He’s one of… Read more

Starcrawler review – more grunge and poses

Periodically, a young guitar band will come along and be tasked with saving rock’n’roll. Hyperbole… Read more

The Smiths partially reunite for classical concerts

Members of the Smiths will reunite on stage for the first time in more than 30 years this summer.… Read more

Tom Hardy knock life: ranking actors with surprising rap careers

Grant Tom Hardy any wish and you suspect it’d involve destroying the internet. Every couple of… Read more

Wireless 2018 lineup announced, featuring Stormzy, Migos and Cardi B

London festival Wireless has announced its 2018 line-up. Taking place in Finsbury Park from 6–8… Read more

Julie Fowlis/Celtic Connections gala review – Gaelic song in full force

‘Because this is happening in a Gaelic song,” jokes Julie Fowlis, “we know it won’t end well.”… Read more

Les Triaboliques review – exhilarating global guitar sounds

This was an exhilarating, eclectic set by an inventive British band who perform all too rarely.… Read more

Steve Brown obituary

My father, Steve Brown, who has died aged 72, spent most of his working life in the music business… Read more

Lacuna Coil review – goat-women gatecrash gonzo goth carnival

‘Let the circus begin!” bellows Cristina Scabbia four songs in, though as Lacuna Coil’s elaborate… Read more

From Barking to Bow: the songs that champion London's less glamorous corners

Mitcham rapper Ramz has been stealthily creeping up the Top 40 over the last seven weeks with… Read more