we are breathing (Connor D’Netto and Ben Baker) with Kieran Welch and Loni Fitzpatrick
Simply for Strings, 14 August 2018

BY LILY BRYANT for Cut Common

“Between their four originals, this duo displayed exactly what was promised; richness, tenderness, and virtuosity. Most exciting was the connection and communication between both performers – they seemed to react to each other in a way that was organic and spontaneous, unifying a disparate set of sounds. Cellist Ben Baker in particular had a compelling stage presence, almost looking bashful at the end of each piece when he transitioned back to reality.

Their entire set demonstrated the duo’s unique approach to music, with huge variety in texture and colour. This was best displayed in a piece based entirely on a cello riff written by Ben, and subsequently worked on by Connor, prior to collaborating as a new music duo. It was interesting to witness how the relationship between the two performers had developed, and was an authentic example of the combination of cello and electronics.

Their most tender and vulnerable display came from a piece that literally sampled a private opinion from one of their friends about finding ‘the one’. This spoken word seemed so innocent and human, and accompanied by virtuosic playing and intricate textures, became a moving experience.

The night presented a series of performances that, despite all being very different, were held together with a unifying thread of vulnerability, tenderness, and beautiful musicianship.”