50 Thoughts That Go Through Your Head at Nu Deco
November 1, 2016
Multi-sensory, supremely technical, and downright real–some phrases that come to mind when experiencing the musical necromancy that happens as Nu Deco Ensemble brings sound back to life. This past weekend, the local 21st century orchestra packed the house at The Lightbox for three back-to-back stellar performances. First-timers made up a majority of the audience, immediately joining in with the almost palpable fandom that overtook the room before they even began their show.
When you experience something as authentic and groundbreaking as a Nu Deco show, your life changes, even if just for a moment. But the important thing is that it does. Like many creative outlets in the city, the ensemble is a start-up, actively trying to re-shape Miami’s cultural landscape and raise its position on the list of artistic metropolises. But back to the Season Two opener that Thursday. Synthesizers, Massive Attack, and Bilal…these were all things we experienced with only 10 feet and a row of heads separating me from the music. But since I can’t accurately express what it sounded like, here’s the progression of thoughts that ran through my head, and possibly everyone else’s, instead.
1. Well, this is intimate.
2. When was the last time a symphony had a sold-out house in Miami?
3. That’s a lot of first-timers. I wonder where they came from?
4. Okay, Schoenberg, is this a war alarm or a classical piece?
5. Oh, now it sounds like a spring morning, rising above our heads and taking the sounds as far as they can go.
6. Wait, isn’t this piece called “Go”? Puns at a classical concert, niiiice.
7. The conductor (Jacomo Bairos) really knows how to push the musicians into a playful direction.
8. The bassist is even smiling with excitement.
9. Wait, is that an electric bass guitar?
10. These guys are like their own kingdom of passionate workers, where music reigns supreme.
11. Schoenberg is actually here!
12. Aw, Miami’s own Aaron Lebos has been added to the orchestra!
13. These are the kinds of sounds that wouldn’t normally fit in at a symphonic performance. Jazz, funk, hip hop…nasty.
14. Did I just use the word “nasty” to describe an orchestra?
15. This sounds like a bustling day in New York City.
16. Even the crowd’s heads are bobbing in unison.
17. “The orchestra is the ultimate vehicle for expression.” Well said, Bairos.
18. You can really see how much the conductor loves the songs he’s leading, how that love is absorbed by the musicians in front of him, and then injected back into the music they create together.
19. This sounds like the score to an 80s coming-of-age adventure flick.
20. Is that a synthesizer?
21. Did he just use a whistle?
22. Did we just laugh at a classical concert?
23. William Brittelle (composer) is here too!
24. I wonder how many orchestra shows allow audience members to walk on stage and mingle with musicians during intermission.
25. Bilal, how I love thee.
26. The caliber of talent just sky-rocketed.
27. Look at how he intricately uses microphone distance to play with volume and tension.
28. Is this what it feels like to watch history being made before your eyes?
29. I can’t believe they started with “Open Up The Door”.
30. These guys can truly make a home in every corner of every genre.
31. There they go again with the nastiness.
32. Look at him with one hand in his pocket while singing “Who Are You”.
33. These lyrics are spectacular, thankfully the music brings them out rather than drowning them.
34. This black box set up makes any sound approachable.
35. “All For Love”? More like an all-new level for Nu Deco.
36. Everyone is so excited about this.
37. Is this real?
38. No but seriously, I just pinched myself.
39. Wait, no, Bilal! Come back!
40. Okay well at least it’s going to be Massive Attack now.
41. “Teardrop” right off the bat? That’s hardcore.
42. Now I used “hardcore” to describe an orchestra.
43. The percussive fox is back! Yeah, you own that xylophone.
44. Two upright basses. DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE.
45. Who knew horns could simulate vocals so well?
46. “Safe From Harm” and “Hymn of the Big Wheel”? What is happening right now?
47. These claps during “Paradise Circus” are awesome.
48. Deconstructing “Unfinished Sympathy” really brings out each element of their music.
49. I wish Massive Attack were here to see this.
50. I’m so happy this is happening in Miami–for Miami, right now.
Make sure to snag your tickets for their next Season Two concert in December, it’s almost sold out!
Photos by Alex Markow