Allen Ginsberg's Kaddish: A Hal Willner Project

3 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Allen Ginsberg's Kaddish: A Hal Willner Project
Photo courtesy CAP UCLA

Kaddish is music producer Hal Willner's live interpretation of the Allen Ginsberg poem of the same name. Listen to the soulful reverberation of the piano, cello, clarinet and violin as they sing the lament to Ginsberg's loss of his mother and reflect on his estrangement from Judaism. This evening performance, both a musical and visual journey, will feature projected paintings by artist Ralph Steadman. 

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3 / 5

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I'm a big Frisel fan, Ginsberg fan and Wilner to some extent. So I went to this expecting a lot. Unfortunately, it was only OK and kind of disappointing. The music was a more or less modern chamber music with great jazz players not doing much. The only time it seemed to work were the few times when the trap drum player doing jazz rhythms that propelled the poetry and tended to bring the actual music to the background and let the poem move forward. Otherwise the music and poetry pulled at each other so much it was uncomfortable. Not much effort to match the poetry with the music other than background moods. Video of closeup nature that seemed to be done in an afternoon with a DSLR. Like many Wilner projects, the parts of using great artists to illuminate an even greater artist didn't fulfill its potential (Bill didn't play guitar either)