9th February 2009 I went along to the recently opened GISH eco-design shop and contemporary art space in Via della Posta yesterday afternoon, intrigued by the event that was taking place - a concert of Hawaiian music and dance performed by Japanese performer Maki Inouye and Livornese guitarist Antonio Ghezzani.
The small space was full to capacity, the audience seated on upturned bottle crates, in keeping with Gish's philosophy of using salvaged and recycled materials. Behind this new project are designers Alessandra Dini and her Cuban husband Yonel Hidalgo Pérez.
With a backdrop of artwork by Japanese artist Eriko Furukawa, resident in Livorno for some years, Maki performed a mixture of Hula dance and song beautifully. The audience was captivated by her calm and smiling nature, and amused by accomplished guitarist Antonio's impromptu translations of her English explanations of the music and Hawaiian traditional tales.
The atmosphere was altogether relaxed, like being in a friend's front room, presented with an unusual, uplifting concert that it was difficult not to warm to.
Between the Hawaiian numbers, Ghezzani also performed two wonderful guitar pieces that showed off his obvious gift for his instrument: one an ancient Mediterranean composition passed down the ages, the second a Sicilian piece. I would really like to be reminded of the title of the first, and both the composer and title of the second, if anyone can remember?
Great afternoon concert with Maki successfully bringing a little piece of Hawaii into Livorno, and Antonio simply brilliant.
GISH is in Via della Posta 63, Livorno. Tel. +(39) 0586 958254, email@example.com