Concert Reviews · Reviews

Concert Review: yMusic Plays Music To Make You Dream At National Sawdust

Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful! You know you like something when it makes you feel simple. When it takes away every thought and over-thought you can have to describe how amazing it was and felt. For me that stirring, beautiful something was yMusic’s performance at National Sawdust.


With their upcoming album First, set to be released on February 17, the six-piece ensemble introduced new music to a crowd eager to feel the cinematic worlds they are known for building in audiences’ minds. Truthfully, if I ever have a film made about my life yMusic is scoring it. In some ways, they already have. Their new songs like “Memory Wounds”, “Paris”, and “Bows” transported people not into different locations or time-frames but into their feelings. It was as if every chord they struck was connected to a periphery memory: i.e. the strongest memories in our mind that are based on emotion. This is why their tracks feel like the opening sequences of films; where people are shown going across their daily lives, relationships, joys, and woes. There music is laced with a highness, usually equated with a drug or meditation hour, because not many things can take you to into your mind with such clarity and intensity that you could literally leave your seat as spirit while your sitting as a body. Such a magical effect inspired the hushed audience who could not make a noise even if they wanted too. yMusic had total control over National Sawdust’s space, which is why it was fascinating to see how each individual member controlled their instruments.

The perks of ymusic as a six-piece ensemble is that they bring a giant orchestra atmosphere with an intimate connection. Their sounds can fill up the universe, while they can barely fill up a stage. There vast yet personal aura give a contrast that helps you notice more the sways and movements each instrumentalist uses to assure their note is given and received with heart.  For instance, violinist Rob Moose never lets his heels touch the floor. They rise with every note as if playing his violin helps him  float on air. Another example is cellist Gabriel Cabezas; who holds his cello like a lover of which he converses with though every chord. It is wonderful to watch how his face changes and matches every low or high note, as if he really were emotionally speaking to his instrument. Then, you have flutist Alex Sopp whose eyebrows go up and down with each new wave of sound. Trumpeter C.J. Camerieri always turns to smile and whisper thank you to audience after each song: make me in awe of his sweet, humble thankfulness. Meanwhile, clarinetist Hideaki Aomori and violist Nadia Sirota use gentle, light toe taps to both stay on beat and have a physical outlet to feel their music. You may wonder how I picked up these particular details from each member, but yMusic makes songs that create observance within listeners.

We all have heard that classical music makes people smarter, or, at least, it activates their focus/ intelligence, for tasks, when played. Yet, yMusic creates songs that make people more thoughtful.  They are like a modern Mozart or Chopin bringing out that “old world” desire for big, instrumental sonics, but combining it with a sense of dreaminess and virtue. Their songs show that life can be captured in a rhythm that when heard falls upon wise ears like water on a stream. For More Information On yMusic Click Here.