Scaw Duo 17th Feb by Elliot Garlick

Who knows anything about Multiphonics?


Me neither.

Luckily, at the beginning of our evening with SCAW Duo, Sarah Watts playing the bass clarinet (an instrument created when a flute and saxophone had a lovechild) explained what it is.

Multiphonics fill the spaces between notes. It breaks all the rules. Any noise, no matter what, can be used to make music.

Sarah Watts and Anthony Clare formed the duo in 2003 and have been touring ever since, as well as managing to squeeze in two CD releases (available here). They’ve performed in Edinburgh, Salford, Reading and even at the World Bass Clarinet Convention in Holland.

The performance comprised of eight pieces by British composers. Sohrab Uduman wrote two pieces for the set after being inspired by an exceptionally long drive home, while the sixth piece, Darkness Visible, won George Nicholson a nomination for the British Composer Awards 2013.

But here’s the real question; should I go to see it?

If you enjoy music, then the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’.

Both Sarah and Anthony are extraordinarily talented musicians, no question. That much was obvious from the start. Professional composers put their reputations on the line to produce some of these pieces and they are technically impressive when performing them, playing with speed and real flair. If you have an appreciation, either as a fellow musician, composer, or music lover then you need to see this performance

Yes, the music is a little avant-guarde. I mean it’s out there, it’s weird, it’s West and a lot of us have never heard anything coming close to it, but it’s pretty much a brand-new type of music and that’s really exciting.

Overall, it was a well done, put together and technically stunning performance. I’ve never heard anything quite like it.

This show made me wish that I loved music even more. If music is your passion, then you should definitely seek out SCAW duo. Love them or loathe them, they will change your musical mind.