Concert: Fiona Joy Hawkins and Trysette
“Two Grand, I’m Yours: The Best Of Two Musical Worlds,” is the name of the US tour featuring the grand piano and vocal artistry of Australian recording artists Fiona Joy Hawkins and Trysette. I was fortunate enough to catch their San Francisco Bay area performance at the historic Throckmorton Theatre in Marin County. Performing solo sets and duets, the pair presented a memorable concert experience that drew enthusiastic response from the audience. Singer songwriter Trysette opened the show with her sensual and deeply personal piano and vocal compositions reflecting on love, life, loss, and longing. These were soul-baring songs that revealed her strength as well as her sensitivity and vulnerability, which I found quite moving and evocative. Trysette’s latest album, which features her with a full ensemble is entited Here On In.
Fiona followed, showcasing some of the pieces from her chart-topping new CD, “600 Years In A Moment,” produced by Grammy winning producer and Windham Hill founder Will Ackerman. I was familiar with the music, having previously reviewed that album, which in addition to Fiona’s piano and vocals includes indigenous instruments from around the world. However, it was interesting hearing the compositions stripped down without the additional instrumentation. What I appreciated most, listening to them in this context, was being able to hear and watch Fiona at the piano. The passion and elegance in her performance was breathtaking as her flawless technique combined with pure emotional expression. Her duets with Trysette also provided some of the highlights of this entrancing evening. The backstage photo above captures a glimmer of the radiant energy they project in concert.
But beyond their magnificent musical performances, they were both exceptional entertainers in their own way, engaging the audience with interesting anecdotes, and a healthy dose of humor. One of my favorite stories was about how when they first arrived in the US, rented a car, and got on the road, people started waving to them. At first assuming that they were being recognized as international recording artists, they soon realized that Americans drive on the other side of the road than Australians! Both Fiona and Trysette were immensely entertaining individually and the chemistry between them was absolutely delightful. It is rare to find performers with such highly developed technical skills, emotional expression, and engaging stage presence – pure musical magic. Two Grand I’m Yours, with Fiona Joy Hawkins and Trysette is one of the most enchanting evenings I’ve spent in a long time.