By Kayla Steinman, Contributor
Last Thursday, October 4, guitarist Michael Kolk graced the New Westminster campus with a truly amazing performance in the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre.
His set list of beautiful songs began with the “Suite for Lute,” an amazing composition from the great Johann Sebastian Bach; until that point, I had truly never heard a guitar sound so beautiful before. Watching his fingers dance while he played gave me a new respect for anyone who can actually play more than three chords on the guitar. The way that he was able to manipulate his fingers and the strings on the guitar to make his music made me want to try to learn the damn thing all over again!
The two preludes he played were “Les Danseuses de Delphes” and “La fille aux cheveux de lin,” both composed by Claude Debussy. Both were simply amazing, making me want to get up and dance along with the music. It was all so calm and soothing, and yet energizing at the same time.
The last piece that he played was “Theme, Variations, and Finale;” again, watching his fingers move almost distracted me from the music because they moved so fast—based on sight alone, one would think that there would just be noise coming from the guitar. But instead, he was somehow able to make the most amazing sounds come out; the speed was almost reminiscent of Spanish classical guitar music, even through this was in a waltz count. In my mind, I could see an old Spanish movie with all the ladies dressed up in their flowing dresses and the men in their traditional suits, dancing around to this energizing music, with skirts flying in the wind, and laughter coming from everywhere. The way that Kolk was able to manipulate his instrument into creating sounds so sweet and so interesting was just simply wonderful.
Kolk has won numerous in North America, and was respectively recognized at a young age for his musical ability. Kolk has performed all across Europe, including Italy, Estonia, and Germany, to name a few. Kolk isn’t just a solo performer either, as he has collaborated with many other musicians, and made his orchestral debut with the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra in 2011.
Be sure to check in with the New West performance theatre this week, when Douglas presents Dark Angels: Music for Voice and Guitar. Surprisingly, vocalizations aren’t nearly as common to the Arts at One performances as instrumental shows are. Catch what will surely be a fantastic spectacle, and remember, it’s free to all students and the public alike!