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España El Vito - Spirit of Spain & Lord of the Strings

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by Felicity (subscribe)
A Melbournian who wonders as I wander. I have spent a lot of life colouring in moments and take great pleasure in creative expression of experience. Interested in Design, Art, Film, Photography, Painting and all things French.
Let your spirit soar
Let your mind soar across an ocean of strings and keys to the heart of Spain. Espana El Vito - The Spirit of Spain is an apt title for the collaboration between concert pianist Nicolas Young and 10 string guitarist Mathew Fagan. The repertoire expresses their passion for Spanish music. With effusive rhythm, the experience of their music taps right into your bloodstream.


The concert was tucked away beside the river in the Fed Square concert hall Deakin Edge. The music glowed as it bounced off the fractured pattern of glass windows facing out to the river. It revealed and accentuated the beauty of the architecture.

Rich red lighting lit up the auditorium glittering off the performer's clothes, creating a fiery atmosphere. The music filled the space and every audience members face was lit up with the experience.

The first thing I noticed when I entered was how perfectly the polished wood floors and seating complimented the instruments.
A line up of guitars a grand piano and drums nestled into the wood. The skyline through the glass windows gave your mind freedom to fly with the birds as some tracks of their newly released CD played.

The Experience

When the concert began, I valued learning more of the history of Spanish music. I was impressed by the way in which music crosses the barriers of culture and time and expresses history while creating new memories in the listener. The artists expanded the classical compositions through improvisation. The music took on a life of its own.

It was easy to drift off into a world of Gypsies and flavour. The Ten string guitar was an artwork of craftsmanship that demanded attention. I was not at all surprised to learn it had a name - George, as it expressed so much personality.

Mathew Fagan's fingers caressed music out of his guitars, The passion played through him. Nicolas Young and Mathew Fagan seemed instruments in themselves. Piano and guitar an extension through which they could release their spirit. Watching Nicolas Young's hands reflected in the polish of the piano was a dizzying experience. Vision blurred with the speed. It was like watching the waves at the beach as they crashed on the sand with intermittent frenzy and calm, a cathartic experience.

This was actually two concerts in one which was a clever arrangement. It allowed space in the thirty-minute interval for those who could not stay late to slip on.

It would have been a shame not to stay. When the drums were added in the Lord of the Strings second section, there was another element of rhythm enlivening your soul. I felt my pulse quicken and feet inadvertently tap. As I looked at the other audience members, they were all bobbing and swaying a tad.

The second half focused on 70's instrumental music with a touch of metal. The audience was certainly of an older and musically knowledgable trend of being. However, I did not feel you had to be in any particular age range or musical knowledge base to appreciate the skill of the performers. There was so much familiar without being able to pinpoint where I had heard it before. Because of the glorious atmosphere music creates, it is easy to forget to wonder what influenced its creation.

These artists, both world-renowned, create a beautiful experience that shouldn't be missed. In the coming year, they plan to expand the second section to include more instruments, which will add another level of immersion in what is already and glorious evening of colour.

Mathew Fagan has toured with many famous artists including Billy Connolly, Shirley Bassey and Michael Crawford. His current collaboration with Nicolas Young is a pure release of creative fervour for them both. Their freedom and at homeness in the music conveyed to the audience. The concert left you feeling released.

Nicolas Young
was born in Sydney but is currently settled in Melbourne. He has won many awards and has a broad interest in both classical and modern music. His playing set the pace for the guitar and together the two instruments created a sense of frenetic energy.

How to hear?

Their new CD -Espana El Vito, the Spirit of Spain would be a gorgeous Christmas gift for those with an interest in Spain or just anyone who appreciates the vividness of this life filled culture. The album cover image is art commissioned to capture the essence of the music. The ceramic impression of a dancer looking in the mirror truly does express the sensation of Spanish life that their music emanates.

To purchase a copy, contact directly
$16.99 is a very small price for access to such vivid musical serenade.

Espana El Vito CD
Espana El Vito
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*Felicity was invited as a guest
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Why? To release your spirit
When: 7.30pm-10.30pm
Phone: 61 (0) 423 972 927
Where: Deakin Edge, Federation Square
Cost: $60
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