2 December 2012

Tanzania: Darkness Didn't Stop Korean Quartet Playing

SHEER professionalism reared its head when the lights went out in the middle of the visiting Korean Kallaci String Quartet's concert at the Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam on Friday evening.

The violinist and group leader, Hyuk-Joo Kwun, admitted to the 'Sunday News' minutes after the concert that the first thought he had after being fully submerged in darkness was that this happens, so it was not a big problem. With reference to being plunged into sudden darkness, his colleague, the second violinist; Yoojin Jang said the audience remained quiet and really listening.

At that point they had just started the second movement, so she thought why at this point in the concert this had to happen. "We were surprised but we could memorise a bit and were able to repeat a passage. We were kind of waiting for the lights to come back. All-the-same, It was a nice experience, which we've never had before.

We were happy that we did not stop and could keep the concert going and people could concentrate on what was being played," the viola player, Hanna Lee, chipped into the conversation. No wonder later on, before leaving them to go and rest in preparation for their Saturday flight out of Dar es Salaam, Hanna referred to the audience as being "a really nice" one.

These words were based on the fact that the four musicians, who included cellist Joonho Shim, could see from the continuous stillness of the audience; they felt they were getting a lot of attention. An economist from the Ministry of Industries and Trade, Monica Mihigo, told the 'Sunday News' she came not knowing what to expect.

However, she found the music quite soothing, especially it being a Friday evening, which is the end of the week, when she was tired. "You get the feeling that it's healing something inside of you. It's music that just trickles down inside of you. That's why I'm still sitting here, for I'm a little annoyed they have stopped playing," Monica added.

Her joy returned when the quartet came back on stage 20 minutes later, after the break for the second half of the performance. Also present was the Director of the local wing of Alliance Française, Sullivan Benetier. He said it was his passion for music that made him come.

He was pleased that he had come to what he referred to as being a really well organised concert for it has a highly professional foursome. "I'm not an expert of classical music but I can tell you I can appreciate it, it's like a good wine, I can tell you if it's good or bad but I'm not an expert. And I can tell this group is really good. Their music touched me," Benetier admitted.

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