Resident Media Director
CHICAGO- On October 10th 2012, I was at the Old Town School of Folk Music for a CD-release concert. A few minutes into the second half of the concert while the performers iAN&ANi Duo (Ian Maksin & Ani Gogova) were getting warmed up, I was in the middle of some carry-over causerie from the intermission with Amorn Buchheit, Miss Chicago 2012 Marisa Buchheit’s mom. All of a sudden, a prelude of a very familiar piece emerged from Ani’s piano play and fomented the Argentine tango blood in me! It was “Oblivion”, composed by Astor Piazzolla, whose oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango music and begot a new style called nuevo tango.
Sitting down and listening at a concert wasn’t something I craved for very much; while my ears longed for the dulcet tune, my legs often got allured by it and became restless, begging me to stand up and dance, which in most cases, wouldn’t seem appropriate, not even if I were as prodigious as Pablo Verón, my favorite Argentine tango dancer. Curiously, I was kept on my seat where I exactly belonged throughout this whole piece, without even trying.
When the cello and piano duet started, my eyes were immediately drawn to the vivacious expression on Ian’s face; the solemnity of a dedicated musician and performer showcased his pride, his undivided focus amalgamated the cello with himself, his ebullient aura led the melody for a seemingly ocular dance! Ani turned to look at Ian periodically while playing the piano. She couldn’t see his face since his back was facing her, yet I sensed the intangible communication floating through the air. Her mien appeared to be rather buoyant, in contrast with Ian’s trenchant demeanor, adding a harmonic counterpoise to the duet.
Being a critic wasn’t anywhere near my profession; I tend to appreciate a performance intuitively. When I reached out my hand to grab the camera in my bag right before Ian’s cello came in, it almost felt unconscious; maybe it was Ani’s prelude, maybe it was the prior familiarity with the piece myself, or both. The fact that I filmed it made me an euphoric audience afterward!
On two different occasions had I seen and filmed them performing “Oblivion”: one was as mentioned above, the other was at another event called the “Fashion of the Opera”. I edited the footage from the two into a sneak peek of a continuous whole to feature the angles that better displayed what I mentioned.