Percussions Clavier de Lyon
Watching the Percussions Clavier de Lyon and listening to the Percussions Clavier de Lyon are two entirely different experiences. Visually, the quintet, led by Gérard Lecointe, with its impressive array of marimbas, glockenspiels, vibraphones, xylophones and other tuned percussion instruments, throws up a chaotic and furious flurry of flying hammers, mallets and notes. But close your eyes and the pure audio experience is entirely different – something more like the musical equivalent of floating suspended in a huge vat of comforting, buoyant liquid in some strange, surreal dream.
In a way, this dichotomy sums up PCDL’s greatest strength. Founded in, yes, Lyon in 1983, the acclaimed, avant-garde percussion outfit excels in reimagining works – bringing a new perspective to music (and stories) that have been well-pressed into the household classical canon.
As part of Le French May, this is, indeed, what the quintet aims to do, introducing its mysterious, melodious and mellow instrumental timbres to two different projects. Firstly, they pay tribute to Claude Debussy, celebrating the birth of the French impressionist by arranging some of his most famous works for their ensemble. And then, over two nights, in the highlight of their Hong Kong performances, they go multimedia, setting three classic Charles Perrault tales Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), La Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty) and Le Petit Poucet (Tom Thumb), with accompanying film projections, to the music of Maurice Ravel. This should be a whole ’nother sensory experience again – and something we rarely see (or hear) in Hong Kong.
Percussions Clavier de Lyon play HKAPA on May 24 and May 26-27. Tickest: 3128 8288; hkticketing.com.