CAYU Close This Year’s Unter Der Zeder in Style

I want to start with a quote from violinist extraordinaire Eva Henneken to describe this evening’s concert by CAYU that I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing, because it sums up so much of my own thoughts on the music I’ve been hearing in Bonn this last couple of months. “It was such a special day. I am so grateful to have all these amazing musicians around me I can share music with”. Eva is right. Bonn really is full of talented musicians, singers, poets and dancers who may never be rich or famous but will always play their hearts out and enrich the Cultural scene in the City. How else can you explain the ease with which music, dance, ballet and poetry can share a stage and entertain an audience from start to end as they did at Unter Der Zeder?

This was the last evening of Unter Der Zeder 2022, and hopefully there will be another season next to the Kleines Theater again next year. It really is a wonderful location tucked away in a quiet section of Bad Godesberg Kurpark. This time though there was just the tiniest chance that we would hear a loud crack just outside the concert area because one of the trees there had lost a branch overnight. Anyway, the said tree was roped off but still didn’t entirely stop music lovers from listening over the fence to the evening’s musical fare.

Eva Henneken

A rich musical fare it was too. From the very beginning with Bretonic Folk song ‘Tri Martolod’ the band was expanded by guest performers. Here it was multi-instrumentalist Matthias Höhn on bagpipes.

More familiar CAYU numbers followed – their lively version of ‘Drowsy Maggie’ was enjoyable, there was too, Eva’s song about a friend ‘Tomboy Girl’ and ‘Farbspiel‘. Excellent music is something we have come to enjoy so much from this enthusiastic band. But there were a number of pleasant extra surprises in store this evening though…

Kate MacAlister recently presented her very first published poetry collection ‘Songs of the blood’ at Kult41 and read from it this evening. Especially moving was ‘Bones of Poets’ the original poem was read by Kate and followed by the song from CAYU that it inspired with a fine haunting dance presentation by Gwenda Kircher and Fransiska Harant from the Alanus Hochschule.

Greta Bücker

Fransiska and Gwenda returned again with a similarly beautiful dance to accompany a Song inspired by Indian poetry ‘Palaquin Song’. It was entrancing to see the two dancers moving with grace whilst holding two poles between them without colliding or stabbing each other! Beautifully played, sung (by Eva) and danced. A dramatic high point of the evening for sure. But not the only high point on this wonderfully creative evening of song/dance/poetry…

The second set proved to contain just as many ‘wow’ moments, as Greta Bücker from the Bonn International Ballet School hypnotized us with her graceful performance to Eva’s ‘It’s Time’. Maria shared the microphone for another of Eva’s songs, ‘Lioness’ and in doing so lent it an extra vocal dimension.

Kate MacAlister

The guests had finally come to an end after that, but not the great music. As a Blues fan I especially loved the band’s jokey Blues number inspired by drummer Alex called ‘Tesla‘. ‘Habibi’ was an excellent choice to get people moving their legs, and well timed to do so coming almost at the sets close. By the time ‘Gute Nacht Freunde’ rolled round, Matthias Höhn was on at least his fourth instrument of the day (saxophone this time) and we were all in seventh heaven having been privileged to enjoy undoubtedly the most ambitious and varied evening yet under the Cedar tree.

Many thanks CAYU and all of your marvelous guests. Thanks too for everyone working at Unter der Zeder – you always make every single person in the audience feel special!

More next year PLEASE!

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