A classy concert requires an elegant entrance, and thus I hastily arrived for my first time at Cosmopolite with beads of bicycle sweat dripping from underneath my beanie. As I tripped over a man’s foot upon entering the concert hall – already full with a neatly dressed audience – I picked up a beer from the bar before escorting myself out of view to the overlooking gallery.
The spotlights shone brightly as the three Argentinians walked onto the stage and I perched onto a platform at the back, behind a row of concert-goers whom I considered different to me. I wouldn’t usually attend concerts such as this. The classical trio, lead by Timoteo “Dino” Saluzzi, I assumed would offer a sound pertinent of the seemingly upper-class venue itself. But I was looking forward to being taken out of my musical comfort zone, if only for an hour. This feeling became immediate soon into their first piece, though I already began to sense a warm comfort from the music and the band itself.
Sitting jovially in the middle of the stage with his bandoneon (a large type of accordion), Dino was joined by his younger brother and saxophonist Felix to his right, and cellist Anja Lechner to his left. Their soft and intriguing melodies had the audience entranced as the trio ventured through their set. Polite applause would fill the gaps between each piece, allowing the chance for a quick cough or readjustment of one’s seating position.
It was the easy-going and friendly demeanour of Dino that brought people (at least it helped me) further into the experience of what could have otherwise been quite a conservative show. He would occasionally speak to the audience in a way that reminded me of a grandpa telling his grandchildren a funny story, while uncle Felix and auntie Anja looked on with knowing smiles. “This is good fun, eh!” he proudly exclaimed.
As my attention drew closer to the music, I could hear the tapping of the keys on Dino’s bandoneon below the intended sound. I liked the idea that I could hear theaction of it, as it were. Then a peculiar grunting or whooping sound would jump from the Argentine’s throat on the odd occasion, adding a quirky spice to a beautiful but modest musical composition. It was enjoyable.
The end was drawing to a close, so I left my position in the gallery and applauded while the trio bowed to the crowd and I headed toward the exit to avoid the orderly rush, appreciative of the music but aware that my comfort zone was still waiting for me elsewhere.