Review: Touchable Dreams featuring Steve Bingham and Jeremy Harmer

Steve Bingham, renowned violinist and conductor in the Cambridgeshire area, was spotted taking part in the International Conference of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in Harrogate in the first week of April this year. Celebrated author and wordsmith, Jeremy Harmer joined Steve and together they created an intriguing presentation of Touchable Dreams: words and music that synthesized perfectly to reflect love in its many and divers forms. Steve played his classical violin with phenomenal skill – as we have admired him do so many times before. But in addition to this, he extended his repertoire to include the sounds of an electric violin and accompanying electronic bass line. Evocative rhythms and familiar recurring phrases that were recorded live created an attractive complement as the music progressed. It was a fascinating combination and reminiscences of known composers including Steve himself, JSBach, Pachelbel, Piazzolla, and even the Beatles, wove a varied and intriguing fabric. With perceptive dramatic awareness, Jeremy shaped the words meaningfully. Excerpts from WHAuden, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Carol Ann Duffy, Ted Hughes, William Shakespeare and the Beatles were reborn in this captivating presentation. The variety of sounds and texts, sensitive timing and an uncanny empathy between the performers made this intriguing show a new and highly effective genre that held the packed audience spellbound. It will be interesting to see if we have the opportunity to hear Steve perform in this way in concerts in Cambridgeshire soon.

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