As part of the independent theatre’s Prelude in Tea series Mythra Ensembles’ debut concert began with afternoon tea, where guests were treated to a selection of beautiful cakes, coffee and tea, complimented by the afternoon sun streaming through the windows. The Mythra Ensemble takes it name from Mitra the god of friendship, and focuses on creating cultural unity through music, blending Turkish, Armenian, Iranian and Kurdish musics with a both traditional instruments, such as the Daf, Oud and Kaval, and western instruments like the piano and violin.
The concert was characterised by driving rhythms, which saw many a head bob along in the audience, and both fast energetic melodies and beautiful sweeping melodies. Of particular note was the work The Child In Me, by Z. Margossian, which began as a light hearted, traditional sounding piece and gradually drew in jazz influences, almost reminiscent of a nightclub jam, with most of the performers taking a turn soloing. Similarly stunning was Sareri Hovin Mernem by H. Badalyan, a beautiful and energetic piece in which violinist Anna MacDonald move to the kermancheh (an Iranian bowed string instrument). This work was truely a crowd favourite, resulting in a rousing applause from the nearly sold out audience. All the members of Mythra ensemble performed exquisitely, but standout for me were Zela Margossian on piano, particularly for her work in The Child in Me, Metin Yilmaz, for his hauntingly beautiful melodies on the kaval (an end blown flute traditional to Turkey and the Balkans) and Elsen Price for his exquisite double bass performance.
Congratulations to all involved and I’m looking forward to many a great concert from this new group!